The hype surrounding Malaysian social media star Min Chen is a very strange - and sometimes confusing - one. Min Chen, who turns 25 this year, started posting photos of herself and her experiences on Instagram in late 2012, but it was only at the end of last year that her popularity sky-rocketed.
You might have seen her around:
Currently, she has more than 213,000 followers on the social media site, but without an accompanying blog or YouTube channel (like most other online personalities), it's anyone's guess how her sudden fame came to be.
With such a large following, you'd think that Min Chen would have no lack of admirers. But in an interview with Vulcan Post, the new Johor Bahru-based Instagram star revealed that she is single, and has recently tried out Paktor - a social dating app based in Singapore - in order to meet more people and make friends. Intrigued, we asked her more about her experience, as well as her thoughts on online dating.
Single and looking
Min Chen was first introduced to Paktor when a Singaporean friend introduced the app to her. She began exploring the app, and got hooked after she found out more about it. She said, "[my friend knew] that I have very little friends as I'm very busy with work and in my spa business. Most of my customers are older females and I end work very late, so by the time I'm home I'm exhausted and I don't really have time to socialise and spend time with friends."
"I use Paktor once or twice a day, depending on how busy I am or during my lunch break. If I am chatting to someone on the app then I tend to spend more time on the app," she added.
Right or left swipe?
The swipe feature is a popular one that's gaining traction amongst both developers and users of apps: users swipe right if they like what they see, and left if they don't. And it's one that Paktor uses as well. We were curious as to how Min Chen made her decisions to swipe right or left, and asked her as much.
"I look at their profile and whether we have any similarities," she explained. "Looks are not my main concern as I am looking to make friends and meet people who have similar interests to me… Rather than guys, I've actually made a lot of female friends from all over the world! From Korea, Taiwan, and China - and they're all very cute and pretty. So during my free time I'll chat with them through the app. I've had quite a few matches so far and I'm not sure about the exact number to be honest."
Qualities she looks for in her other half
Followers of Min Chen's Instagram account might be interested to know what she looks for in a partner. To that, she replied, "I don't really have any special requirements. I think a lot of us girls always say we want someone "tall" or "handsome", but in the end, when feelings develop, all these traits become irrelevant because you end up liking the person for who he is. But I guess the quality I look for the most in a guy is his positivity. I don't really need a guy who will buy me flowers all the time - just someone who is optimistic about things. And also someone who shares the same interest in food as I do!"
Min Chen's love for food is apparent through the constant stream of food pictures she shares on her feed. While she mentioned that she has yet to find the "right one", she elaborated that she is trying to meet the person in any way she can - and not just via Paktor.
Min Chen also shared with us that the other half doesn't have to cook, "because I can cook, but he has to appreciate and enjoy eating".
Thoughts on online dating
With the rise of online dating apps - and scams - in recent years, we had to ask Min Chen what her thoughts were with regard to online dating. And her answer was a pretty well-thought out one: "I don't feel that there is an absolute good or bad associated with online dating. To me, it depends on your objectives of dating and how you reciprocate online.
"Some of my friends did mention about being careful of the intentions of people you meet online. Ultimately, we - especially as girls - should know how to protect ourselves. For example, I'd suggest first time meet-ups should take place at public areas, or you can even bring a close friend or family member with you. After that, I can decide if I want to continue the relationship or not. That said, I have made some genuine connections with female and male friends over Paktor, so that was a surprise to me too!" she explained.
While Min Chen admits that "[she's] not really sure how [she]feels about it (referring to her accidental rise in fame)," it seems she has put a lot of thought into how one should interact and reciprocate on social media. And if that's not admirable enough, we don't know what is.