Love in the Time of Algorithms: What Technology Does to Mating and Dating – Part 1

 

Due to recent revelation of people around me using online dating as a main source of finding love, I was fascinated to find out why.  I literally interviewed people who are using online dating site(s) and tried to sample who were successful and who were not.  I wrote my first finding(s) on this subject matter here.

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The premise of Facebook is found on finding love using online. Now we have great many alternatives in finding love using our ever changing technologies.  I even got into some major debates about online dating site such as Match.com, where I tried to inform that person on a good/bad points of online dating services and I got flamed harshly for my information.

Here are some justifications used by daters who swears why online dating may be good:

  1. “My friends got married using Match.com”
  2. “My friend found long term Boyfriend/Girlfriend using Okcupid.com”
  3. “I found my wife/husband using Eharmony.com”
  4. “My neighbor used Pof.com to meet his current boyfriend/girlfriend”

However,

This book is called “Love in the Time of Algorithms: What Technology Does to Mating and Dating.”  By Dan Slater is a book about the history of online dating, which is an interesting read of itself, but also it is a must read for folks who are currently using online dating sites to someone thinking about using it.  This book gives you factual evidence about truth behind online dating sites and what drives it.

I had no idea that in 2012/13, the Internet dating scene had changed so much and this fact alone interested me in reading this book. It has become a grand meeting place for people and does not have the stigma that it used to have even as recently as 5 years ago. Well, some stigma still exists little bit.

As I wrote my first report on online dating here, I know several people who have met their spouse on the Internet and a couple more who are in long term relations with internet dating sites to thank. That being said, I was interested in the technical points and the author had started this book originally as a couple of magazine articles that he was encouraged to expand into this book. The book explores the evolution of dating questions and how it is used to reach people. An interesting sidebar is that the authors found out that his parents had met via a computer match.

It seems that computer/Internet dating should evolve into another form of meeting people. It, having lost mostly, the stigma it had in the past seems like it should be just another form of dating but many things come into play.

Typical Dating rituals of online dating:

  1. When you meet someone online, first exchange few messages through the dating site.
  2. Next step is sending texts and e-mails to coordinate the first date.
  3. Then, after the first date, if things go well, there’s the question of who’s going to add who first on Facebook.
  4. Then, you look at each others pictures and all their stuff.
  5. You Google them, read their resume, maybe an essay written few years back. It feels intimate, you feel like you know them well, but also really distant.
  6. You now have tons of information, but you’ve only met them once or twice, maybe just thirty minutes for coffee.

There’s a huge disconnect between what you think you know about each other and what you’ve actually established in real life.  Does this create closeness in a relationship?

Moreover,

  1. After meeting someone using online, you meet for first date for coffee and things are going well.  He/She seems to have a good job, you Google their names and checks out good, you seem to have a good grasp of He/She, or it seems…
  2. You added to your Facebook and both are now able to see each others pictures and their stuff.
  3. Now, you are monitoring who is posting who on Facebook and trying to figure out who was his/her past fling, etc…
  4. You are now stalking his/her Facebook to figure out who is who.
  5. You go on Dating site to see if he/she has the profile is still active or not
  6. You show your new love to your friends on Facebook and seeking approval of your new love
  7. Everyone is checking out everyone and see if anything pops up on the Internet
  8. Finally, everything seems good, you setup another date and this time, intimacy is involved
  9. This cycle repeats again and again hoping this will lead to a long term relationship
dan-slater-Author

Author: Dan Slater

Many argue that this is the way to make sure you know you can trust someone by having a complete control over the information you gathered through social media and our friendly Google.  This will eliminate frauds and liars by having these types of information.  However, do you really know this person in real life?  Do you know the personality, traits, quirks, and other hidden character of the person?  Are we more reliant on technologies rather than in real life?  Typical online dating intimacy occurs during first date is whopping 33%, second or third date, the number rises significantly since online dating users have accumulated tons of information via social media and the web.  Why? first date, second date is not really first or second since online daters feel like they have known each other forever because they have gathered so much information with all the emailing, texting, instant messaging and daters now feel comfortable enough to go ahead with the intimacy when they finally meet in real life. Is this how you get to know a person, via email, text, and some instances, Skype? We can Google, creep on Facebook, and even pay some website to find out something about anyone, but do we really know anybody? This book examines this fact with all sorts of factual evidence supporting why online dating is not doing its job connecting lonely singles into happy long term relationships.  It is designed very efficiently, just like a kid in a candy store with many varieties of candies he/she can select, dating, dating again, and dating more …

Part 2, Click here

After reading this book, I was bit shocked how we are more distant to each other IRL (in real life).  If you want a long term relationship, online dating sites are not the way to do it for the majority, but for dating, it is very efficient. – SjC.

2 Responses to “Love in the Time of Algorithms: What Technology Does to Mating and Dating – Part 1”

  1. Vega April 26, 2013 at 1:36 am Permalink

    Its All Love And Happiness Till “HE!!”… Sends You a Pic.
    I Thought You Were Real EMMA!!! </3

  2. Nathan Clough May 28, 2013 at 10:34 am Permalink

    I could tell you stories about the girls I’ve met on these dating sites. Not a single one of them ended great, and nothing lasted more than a month or so. Though I do have a friend who met his fiance off of a dating site so I’m not saying they are all bad, just not what works for me.

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