Monday, 28 June 2010

Online Dating Progress Report: Discovering I Am Shallow

So, last week I got an email with the following subject line from the OkCupid Summer Interns...

"Fishwithoutbicycle* we have data on your attractiveness"


Good Lord can you imagine my horror at seeing that subject line in my in-box? All I could think was 'do I really want to open this email?'

I walked away, but 15minutes later I was back, curiosity having gotten the better of me. I tensed up and kind of squinted through my eyelashes at my computer screen braced for bothersome news, but lets be honest...what do Summer Interns really know about data analysis anyway?**


"We are very pleased to report that you are in the top half of OkCupid's most attractive users. The scales recently tipped in your favor, and we thought you'd like to know.

How can we say this with confidence? We've tracked click-thrus on your photo and analyzed other people's reactions to you in QuickMatch and Quiver.

Your new elite status comes with one important privilege: You will now see more attractive people in your match results.

This new status won't affect your actual match percentages, which are still based purely on your answers and desired match's answers. But the people we recommend will be more attractive. Also! You'll be shown to more attractive people in their match results.

Suddenly, the world is your oyster. Login now and reap the rewards. And, no, we didn't just send this email to everyone on OkCupid. Go ask an ugly friend and see.

How completely and utterly shallow of them, especially that crack about asking an ugly friend, but also...

Whooooooo hooooooooooooo!!!!
I make the top 50th percentile!!!!!

How very shallow of ME to be so happy that people who don't know me think I am worthy based on my looks, but I can't help it, I DO feel flattered. Is that wrong? I am not one of those people that walks around with a whole bunch of confidence about my looks, in fact whenever guys look at me when we pass on the street I always wonder if it's because I have something on my face, so it's nice to have evidence that some men do find me attractive.

Actually there's not much progress to report with the online dating so far, although admittedly my timing was a bit off in terms of joining the site since I’ve been way too busy with work, working out, watching the footie and preparing for my parents’ arrival in New York this coming Wednesday, so I haven’t exactly been what you’d call pro-active, but I’m in no big hurry.

I’ve popped on a couple of times to add bits and pieces to my profile and browse and rate the potentials via their QuickMatch browsing. I’m not sure how other dating sites work, but OkCupid encourages you to rate potential matches using a star based system. If someone rates you highly they send you an email with 9photos and a message, which reads…

“One of these 9 people just gave you high marks (4 or 5 stars) on QuickMatch. Congratulations!

If you give high marks to the same guy who chose you, we'll let you both know you match. If not, no biggie. Click anyone below to start playing or click here to login instantly. Somewhere in the first few people you rate will be your potential match.”

I’ve rated 263 men so far of which...., 60% of which I’ve rated as 1 or 2 stars -
mostly because they haven’t provided any or much information in their profile and I refuse to make a decision on a photo alone, although I also have an aversion to attractive men who post pictures of themselves shirtless. Leave a little mystery and put your pecs away please!! I know some women find that attractive, but it immediately puts me off especially if the photo is obviously posed. I've rated 32% neutrally with 3 stars because I couldn’t quite made up my mind, although I am thinking I should take the chance and rank some of these men more highly, because of only rated I’ve rated 8%, 21 men, with 4 stars and none with 5 stars....

...too picky do you think??

aybe I am a bit, I am thinking I should rate a few of the 3 star men a bit higher and see what happens.

Oh, I also added another colleague to my collection while I was browsing through the profiles this weekend. Having got over my initial shock at seeing colleagues on there I am quite blasé about it now, but I do wonder how more I will encounter since there are an awful lot of people who admit to working in advertising and I’ve only been on OkCupid two weeks now and I’ve encountered 1 client and 2 colleagues so far. Not just any colleagues either, but people who work in my own small department. Great!!

I was telling Debs about them being on the site and she asked if I would take a screen grab of their profile and email it to her as she was curious, but I most certainly will not. I don’t even read the profiles of my colleagues. I am respecting their privacy as I hope they are respecting mine. Is that a bit naive of me do you think?

*Not my OKC username by the way!!
**This may come across as dismissive of the interns, but I say this as someone who does a good amount of data analysis for a living - I'm a professional people - and have worked with my fair share of interns.


Kitty said...

ha. what I don't understand is that means they will direct better looking people to you? It's all just very funny.

What I liked about the internet dating thing (one of the few things, mind you) was that you had the illusion of choice. I think it widens one's world a bit.

How funny about the colleagues and clients! I'm sure they've checked you out and are scratching their heads about why you're on there.

It's all good, Fish!

Amel said...

Well, there's nothing wrong on feeling flattered when other people like how you look like. :-))))

But I don't really like the way they said it: "Go ask your ugly friend". HUH???

Btw, I don't think you're too picky. It's just hard to rate someone based on the photo and profile, 'coz sometimes there are photogenic people and non-photogenic ones who may actually look better in real life.

I understand the wish to respect your colleagues' privacy. It's not's just normal he he...

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Kitty,

Y'know I've seen no evidence of better looking people being directed to me so far, so I am wondering whether what I think is good looking doesn't align with what my fellow women on OKC think is good looking - as I am assuming everyone is assessed based on their clicks - or whether it's all just a gimmick.

Hi Amel,

I didn't like that bit about the ugly friend either. They are clearly trying to be funny, but it comes off as a bit mean.

As far as being naive goes though I am wondering whether I am being naive that my colleagues will respect MY privacy. I rated them low anyway in the hope that they don't come up in my matches again :-)

Amel said...

AHHHHH...well, if I were you, I'd probably check out their profiles hi hi...'coz my curiosity will eat me alive if I don't HA HA HA HA HA HA...

The Relationship Company said...

Good article posted and also helpful those people who are looking for online dating......