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| Dating and Networking

10/12/13

Date with Destiny: Is depending on data truly the death nail for dating?

Like it or not, love isn't quite as romantic as it once was.
What once was drummed up and portrayed as serendipity or a chance meeting between two strangers, dating is currently more data than intangible dynamics.
Blind dates are now more like a job interview, where both parties know all the key statistics of one another before the appetizer at dinner even arrives. They're checking profile pics and likes and dislikes as if it was a police report rather than a get to know one another get together.
All of this begs the question: Is dating becoming too driven by technology or statistics?
Companies like Match.com or eHarmony.com have made careers on the idea that finding the perfect someone should be the equivalent of scanning two profiles and looking for key words or phrases that match one another.

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She likes dogs. He likes dogs. Checkmate.
That thinking is conventionally sound and certainly bucks the motto that "opposites attract." Finding the perfect match today is about cultivating and creating a profile for a dating web site like it is a cover letter and hoping to find a person you like, who likes you back.
Truly a match made out of tedium heaven.
A big part of the success of online dating companies and why the love starved population gravitates toward these sites typically is predicated on convenience. Technology meets a society that badly mismanages time or just flat out doesn't want to put out much effort.
Profiles are passive, and the idea that trying to find love by logging into a web site on a daily basis on your computer is about a sexy as a calculator watch.
At the end of the day, however, these are the dating cards you've been dealt, but is it best to fold?
The easy answer is yes, which typically is followed by making sweatpants your daily clothing of choice and walking down your driveway to get the newspaper is considering an "outing."
But diving into data driven dating doesn't have to be a detriment; if you know how to maneuver through these windy highways, you'll be surprised at how smooth the ride can be.
"Data, A Love Story: How I Gamed Dating to Meet My Match" by Amy Webb encapsulates the ins and outs of online dating to the point that she has failed enough to know how to succeed. She met her husband online but not without plenty of missteps along the way. Webb's ideas also permeate on the Ted.com web site and her most recent "How I Hacked Online Dating" is just a small, poignant sample on the art of profile writing.
The biggest mistake the online dating community makes is not only embracing the medium they're using but trying to do too much with what they're writing or worrying incessantly how they're coming across, rather than trying to be themselves.
Data shouldn't be nerve racking unless you work for NASA. This is dating, and finding a true match isn't about manipulating statistics or forging figures but rather a realistic delivery from top to bottom about who you are and what you want.
Those are number you just can't, and shouldn't, skew.

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