Online dating for dummies

The journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest has released a study of Internet dating with results that I think will be astonishing to anyone who lives in a cave at the bottom of the sea without Wi-Fi.

We media types went all first-love- breathless over the story anyway because it’s rare we get to publish a science story people will click on that doesn’t involve the words “primate sex.”

However, if your IQ is larger than your birth weight and your technological savvy allows you to successfully use Lite-Brite, then you are likely to respond to everything in this dating study with an emphatic, “Well, duh.”

Well, duh #1: Internet dating is popular.
About a quarter of people met their partners over the Internet. In an online world where one of the most popular activities for years has been adorning cat photos with grammatically incorrect captions, I have a hard time seeing an online conversation as unusual.

Well, duh #2: Men initiate more than women, and both sexes use an unhelpful “shopping” mentality that highlights looks and interests.
Some people cited this as proof that online dating is inferior. Some people have never dated offline, I guess.

Well, duh #3: Sites that claim to be able to match you based on chemistry are eBaloney.

But the smarmy old man seems so trustworthy! And all those happy couples standing in white rooms!

I do use a dating site with a matching algorithm, but it’s not hard to tell a poor match. For instance, I avoid self-anthropologists who catalogue every instance of themselves looking into a bathroom mirror. I’m intimidated by that level of dedication.

Well, duh #4: It’s better to meet in person than chat endlessly online.
OK, one thing did surprise me.

The researchers said meeting in person was better than meeting online, and I thought, “Well, you can do both.”

But then I saw that the average e-dater spends 12 hours a week online looking for a mate. Here’s where, “Well, duh” gives way to “WTF!” (That’s a research term meaning Weighty Transformational Fact.)

That much time online seems particularly tentative in an era where a “date” is cup of coffee or, if you’re jumping in with both feet, a walk.

Gosh, after 12 hours, you could have 23 hilarious rejection stories and one glorious success.

No matter where you meet it’s important to get out there, meet face to face and ignore the nitpicking that might be keeping you from noticing the love of your life! Unless they don’t know the proper usage of your and you’re. In which case they’re useless.

Well, duh.


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