A very subjective version of "science" is deployed in place of efficient matchmaking.
Instead of fixing holes in a flawed concept, dating websites are fixing holes in the user's online experience to make them spend longer on the site, so they can be served more advertising.
How long before phone numbers are exchanged, for example — which means that yes, these companies are scanning your private messages, wading through the dirty talk with algorithms to discover trends.
But this seems to take us further and further from our object: meeting the love of our life.
They certainly do a good job of making singledom look attractive, and, the better a website does this, the less inclined a person is to get or remain partnered up, and the more likely they are to return to the singles experience and the addictiveness of surfing online profiles.
The excitement of receiving a new message, the ability to scan hundreds of eligible profiles, the ease of initiating contact with an attractive single person.
Perfect Match and e Harmony say they cannot open their studies to scrutiny because they'd be giving away their "secret sauce".The research that relates directly to online dating is especially poor, given that key romantic factors — body language, smell, voice, and simply the physical presence of someone — are missing when you meet online.To compensate, dating sites are updating their research methods, using user data like time spent on profiles, number of messages, and quality of messages.Profiles are usually quite extensive: letting you introduce yourself (anecdotal evidence suggests 90 percent of profiles begin with, "I'm not very good at this sort of thing…" or "I'm not sure why I'm here"), and prompting you to answer essay-type questions about your job, hobbies, and ideal relationship.Most popular websites today, like e Harmony, Ok Cupid, and Match.com, feature quizzes, which ostensibly help line you up with your soul mate.