online dating!

a few weeks ago i read a news article which had something to do with a particular online dating site. i don’t even remember what it was about, but joined the club to investigate. there were some very crazy people on there.

i wrote up a semi-mock profile and got to thinking about the significance of our cultivated online activity or the ‘online image’ we put forth. here are some of the questions i’d like your thoughts on.

– how sincere is a consciously and deliberately moulded online profile, specifically one which is not anonymous or where real life encounters are bound to occur?
– in what way (other than ‘egotistical’) is it a reflection of the self?
– in what way are expectations of real life encounters affected by the image put forth by the profile?
– does being sincere about one’s interests or passions online and in an upfront way demean them?
– how often are ‘favourites’ indicated with the goal of spinning one’s own image to their likeness?
– is ambiguity beautiful? does this profile put forth a more complex image of the writer?
– isn’t that kind of a stupid thing to write about?
– did you actually read all of these questions?
– isn’t this a photo blog?

here is the profile:

Ethnicity
White
Height
6′ 1″ (1.85m)
Body Type
Thin
Smokes
Yes
Drinks
Rarely
Drugs
Never
Religion
Agnosticism
Sign
Cancer
Education
Working on Ph.D program
Job
Student
Income
$80,000–$100,000
Children
Likes children
Pets
Likes dogs and Likes cats
Speaks
English, French, Russian, Danish, Czech

My Self-Summary:
i am not really a fox

What I’m doing with my life:
research

I’m really good at:
reading

The first things people usually notice about me:
i do not know because i have never asked them

My favorite books, movies, music, and food:
milan kundera
jean-luc godard
kitsuné records
c’est japon à suisha

The six things I could never do without:
who can answer something like this?

I spend a lot of time thinking about:
whatever it is i’m doing at the present time! and about
what groceries i should get next. i don’t know.

On a typical Friday night I am:
it depends on the mood and the friday

The most private thing I’m willing to admit:
this makes it not private anymore

You should message me if:
you like sushi

One response

  1. fraser

    I think it’s hardly unreasonable to say that online profiles are alter egos. Such a fabricated construction is unnatural, and I think it rejects one’s personhood or humanity. Real-life interactions aren’t carried out in this quick-and-dirty way (“fav color: green, fav animal: lion”). In creating an online profile you sculpt a notion of yourself which dodges all mistakes or social hiccoughs which come with getting to know someone IRL. For this reason it’s particularly funny when someone makes spelling or grammar mistakes in one of these profiles. You are the puppeteer of your e-persona.

    “The six things I could never do without:
    who can answer something like this?”
    This, for example, could come across as shy, deeply thought-out or the complete opposite, a lazy way out of an open-ended question. But the anonymity of the internet conveys your real intentions about as well as the written word conveys sarcasm.

    As for ambiguous vs. detailed profiles, that’s a whole new can of worms. In the context of dating, an ambiguous profile could suggest either laziness or mystery while a detailed one shows desperation or a multifaceted type of person.

    Monday, October 25, 2010 at 23:37

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