I love… online dating sites
By Jeremy Smith
Love is in the air. Well, maybe it’s just online. This is a love-themed issue, though, so I was tasked to write something a bit more apropos to the general feel of the paper. That’s why I bring you: online dating.
I’ve been a fan of online dating ever since they were called “personals” back in Yahoo’s hey-day. In my love affair with the online come-hither ad, I think I managed one date that wasn’t a total disaster, and a few others that probably were. However, even those bad experiences did not stop my interest in reading the profiles.
To me, the attraction of these profiles is a person trying to describe who they are in a fairly limited number of words. It’s like the exercise that you have to do in Journalism classes when you write your own obituary, humbling and highly revealing at the same time. A quick window into what someone considers the best and most appealing words they can string together about themselves, in the hopes of getting at least a quick message from a stranger who wants to learn more. To that end, I’ve put together a few sites that are good place to start, with which you might be able to have some success and disasters of your own.
OkCupid.com is my latest discovery and seems to exemplify some of the best parts of online dating: totally free, simple login, quick access to photos, compatibility summaries in easy to find locations, an abundance of weird and easy-to-do tests in order to support abovementioned compatibility summaries, and a fairly liberal amount of space to pontificate on how much you can’t live without your iPhone.
Speaking of iPhones, I turned a friend on to another site that I just couldn’t stomach joining, Cupidtino.com. Currently kicking around in beta for about $5 a month, it’s an Apple product-lover site in which you can find a, well, a fellow Apple product lover. They pride themselves on having a higher class of members – I guess because the number of people who use Apple products is really, really small – so, apparently, you are more likely to have a better result. My friend’s luck wasn’t so great, but she had a few interesting conversations with a fellow iPhone owner, so I guess you could chalk that up to a win.
The big box of chocolates in online dating right now is Match.com, which has been showing nonstop commercials about how their members have more “dates, relationships and marriages” than any other service. With this recent advertising push they also completely revamped the site with a wall of pictures. You can also quickly set up a free account and send unlimited “winks” to the folks who have caught your eye. Of course, being the biggest doesn’t come free, so to actually talk to someone, you need to pony up the cost of “a single date,” which is only available once you have made an account. I’ll save you some time: to get in the door you are dropping at least $35… which I think is a McDonalds-and-a-movie date, with no popcorn.
Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and if not, well, follow some of the links above and read about some people who want to. If you have had an experience, good, bad or ugly with online dating, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.