Saturday, July 7, 2012

Electronic match making

Well we have discussed our virtual girlfriends.  In fact it is one of my most consistently popular posts - go figure.  I can only imagine how much more popular it would be if the post offered a connection to an actual (?) virtual girlfriend.

Well some people don't want an electronic boyfriend/girlfriend.  For some reason, they still value the original, flawed, flesh and blood variety.

Week in Ideas, Wall Street Journal, 29 June 2012

A new study quantifies how Web-driven the dating scene has become.

The authors surveyed a nationally representative group of more than 4,000 Americans. Almost all the traditional ways of meeting people are in decline: friends, school, church, neighborhood… the proportion who met online rose to just over 20%. In the same-sex universe, the revolution has been even greater. The proportion of homosexual couples who met online stood at more than 60% in 2010.

The tables for the study are here:  Searching for a Mate: The Rise of the Internet as a Social Intermediary (pdf) Michael J. Rosenfeld and Reuben J. Thomas, American Sociological Review (August).  The study itself here (pdf).

To be more specific, the “over 20%” number comes from those who met in the last 2 years.  But even for those who met in the last 6 to 10 years. Almost 11% met online. I, of course, met my wife at a book club.  LOL – explains a lot.

I don’t find this too surprising.  Given how many people you can connect with, and how otherwise isolated people have become, the internet should destroy the other search forms.  It does not. 

Why doesn’t it destroy all other methods.  Best as I can tell, it is because people lie about themselves in their searches.  From the anecdotal reports available to me, they lie allot.  The second problem is that up to the point of actual meeting, there is very little personal cost.  Low cost can mean very low initial commitment.  One of the big advantages is that the goals of the people involved are much clearer than when people meet in other settings.  Even if someone is lying, the “stated” reason is not in dispute.

The computer algorithm decided to research some dating variables for itself (from here).


Anonymous said...

Nice take on internet dating. Actually a cool site. Single guy who gives pointers on women with a touch of TEOTWAWKI.


russell1200 said...

GK: Interesting site. Makes me glad I am not single.

The guy who wrote Slow Apocalypse is into studying "matchmaking" and included it (not all that smoothly) into the novel.