Algorithm, Schmalgorithm

The Science of Online Dating debate is in the news, again. Yesterday, Bloomberg Businessweek published “The Shaky Science of Online Dating” by Drake Bennett. It summarized a new paper written in the current issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest.  In short, it says if you allow the dating sites to do all the work, you may overlook your ideal partner.

Far be it from me to say “I told you so” but…. I said the same thing six years ago in my own online dating profile and again in a recent blog. Admittedly, I wrote it primarily for the entertainment value; it poked fun at the notion the algorithms could find your perfect match. Based on the responses, it was entertaining and also demonstrated my tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. It attracted men who “got” me and had an appreciation for the irony.

It’s hard to argue the fact, one in five couples met online. Internet dating has significantly increased our chances of finding a partner, greatly assists in narrowing our search and we can conveniently peruse profiles in the comfort of our homes, at Starbucks, on our Smart Phones or if your boss isn’t looming, at work.

Regardless, it seems we can’t rely wholly on the dating sites to find our ideal match. So, what’s a dater to do?  I suggest we don’t let the sites do all the heavy lifting; we need to work with them. It’s our responsibility to select quality, recent photos and put effort into writing a profile that stands out, lends insight and helps the online daters weed through thousands of potential matches who all like “puppies, rainbows and long walks on the beach”.


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