Everyday Sociology Blog: Online Dating Practices

Everyday Sociology Blog: Online Dating Practices

September 30, 2010

Online Dating Practices

By Todd Schoepflin

I haven’t thought about dating ter a while. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve bot married for six years. I met my wifey ter an old-fashioned way: at work. I had the type of the job that wasgoed satirized te the movie Office Space. The clock never seemed to budge. I’d stare at my pc screen for eight hours waiting for my shift to end. Tina provided much-needed ease from the drudgery of my cubicle existence. Thesis days, the word “date” means that wij have a oppas for a few hours, providing us time to grab a cheeseburger and a teddybeer.

I have no practice with online dating, and before I observed this movie vraaggesprek of Dan Ariely I had never heard a scholar talk about it. Ariely, Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University, has studied online dating and makes some indeed interesting comments about the subject te the vraaggesprek.

Ariely points out that typical online dating websites pauze people down into “searchable attributes” such spil height, weight, income, and political views. Thesis&#0160, websites operate on the mistaken assumption that people are effortless to describe on the poot of such attributes. He uses wine for an analogy. You might be able to describe the wine you drink, but that doesn’t matter very much. What matters is that you know if you like it or you don’t.

He thinks that’s zuigeling of like dating. Being able to describe a person based on a set of characteristics isn’t very useful. It’s the total practice of spending time with someone that tells you whether you like a person or not. It’s not a elementary matter of someone being the “perfect” weight and having the “right” eye color. Te Ariely’s opinion, cracking people into attributes turns out not to be informative. What’s informative is what happens when you share an practice with someone.

Ariely concludes that people have unsatisfying practices with online dating. Albeit websites can match people based on their preferences, they can’t predict if people will actually like each other te the existente world. Sure, you can pick someone online who is tall, has brown eyes, and hair that looks excellent to you, but that doesn’t mean you’ll love that person’s company when you’re on a date.

Something I found truly fascinating ter the vraaggesprek wasgoed Ariely’s discussion of whether people are superficial. Consider, after all, that people do search for potential dates te terms of hair color, bod type, and income. Realistically, he says, people are superficial, for example, generally speaking, women choose tall boys and dudes choose skinny women. So women and studs both search out vrouwen based on features they find physically attractive.

However, te defense of online daters, Ariely makes a good point: if that’s the search criteria available to people to use, then they’re going to use it. Naturally, a lotsbestemming of people will have preferences when it comes to hair color, height, and weight. So it’s not that people who use online dating are more superficial than any other group of people. Rather, he believes the typical online dating system exaggerates our tendency to be superficial.

Did you notice the comments from people who reacted to Ariely’s vraaggesprek? I found a few of them to be very interesting. For example, a man named Mark said: “I think online dating is unsatisfying for most people because dating te caudillo is unsatisfying for most people.” Think about all of your dating practices: have most of them bot satisfying or disappointing? And, if you have online dating practice, did the outcome of those dates differ significantly from dates that came about ter other ways?

A comment I found especially insightful wasgoed made by Elizabeth, who said: “Perhaps one of the best things about dating online is that one can know the overeenkomst breakers (smoking, drinking, how many kids, etc.) before falling for someone, before attempting to justify a relationship that won’t work.” That strikes mij spil an slim point. Honestly speaking, isn’t it true there are certain things about potential dating vrouwen that you won’t accept?

I asked my friend Don about this. Don is a 38-year-old never married man who has accumulated vast dating practice. A few years ago he wasgoed te a serious relationship that soured because he doesn’t want to have kids. Ter essence, the fact that he doesn’t want children wasgoed a overeenkomst breaker te that relationship. He recently set a date using the free dating webstek called Slew of Fish. He described his date spil a “very pretty, 40-year-old Pilates instructor who doesn’t want kids.”

I asked Don if he thought there were such things spil “deal makers.” Ter other words, if having kids (or wanting to have kids) is a overeenkomst breaker for some people, couldn’t wij say that not wanting kids is a “deal maker” for other people?

Fair enough, he responded, but ter his dating practice, he finds that people tend to concentrate on differences rather than commonalities. He wonders if this is because people are attempting to find the absolutely volmaakt match. Because technology enables people to access an unlimited number of people, maybe they feel they should hold out for Mr. or Ms. Flawless.

When I told Don I wasgoed writing a blog about online dating, he said: “Yeah, because you know so much about that.” He wasgoed taunting mij because I haven’t bot on a date with someone other than my wifey since 2000, when I met hier. I replied: “Well, suppose I desired to cheat. You know there are websites that cater to married people, right?” Albeit I have no plans to demolish my marriage, I have heard radiodifusi√≥n advertisements of a webstek tailored to people te relationships. The webstek AshleyMadison.com uses the trademarked slogan “Life is brief. Have an affair.” Isn’t that lovely?

An article ter Time asserts that “cheating has never bot easier” now that the AshleyMadison webstek has applications for iPhone and Blackberry. The webpagina has Four million members and includes options for masculines seeking masculines and females seeking females. I guess cheating is for everyone! Witness CEO Noel Biderman get grilled by the hosts of The View (a person involved with a webstek that facilitates cheating makes an effortless target). He downplays the influence of the webstek by telling “AshleyMadison.com didn’t invent infidelity.” Touche.

While reading up on the topic of online dating, I came across an article te the Fresh York Times that refers to Cheekd.com spil “the next generation of online dating.”

Members purchase cards with phrases and give them to people they encounter ter everyday life. One example is “I am totally cooler than your date.” See someone te a restaurant who you think is good-looking? Walk by someone on the street that looks interesting? Simply arm them a card with an identification code that permits the person to find you on the webstek. Lori Cheek, the founder of the webstek, says: “It’s almost like you’re shopping online, but you’re shopping ter existente life.” Cool idea, I guess it gives fresh meaning to “pick up lines.” I wonder if they have a card that says “Are you from Tennessee? Because you’re the only Ten I see.” Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

I know of two couples who were undoubtedly sated with their online dating practices. Heather and Brian (pictured on their wedding day) met on eHarmony, have bot married for overheen a year, and are expecting their very first child soon. Heather explained something she and hier spouse liked about eHarmony: “We both agree now that many of the things that their questionnaire asked about certainly make us more compatible than some other couples that wij know. They focused on values and how wij viewed the roles of spouse and wifey.” Spil for Jonathan and Nhein, they met on Match.com and then married. No kids yet, but they have a adorable little dog!

Do you know anyone who has attempted online dating? If so, what has their practice bot like? What can wij infer about the sociological meanings of relationships?

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