Economist online dating article

18 Aug

By assembling a vast array of date-worthy people in a searchable format, online dating seems like it should be a huge improvement on the old-fashioned methods of meeting people at work, through friends, or in bars and nightclubs.But it’s not clear that the innovation of online dating is helping very much.Dawoon Kang, co-founder of Coffee Meets Bagel, says “the reason women haven’t been fully excited about using dating services is because there wasn’t one that understood how women want to date.” Sarah Mick, Chief Creative Officer at Bumble, says her app wants to end “digital cat-calling,” and to subtly give women more power in their dating interactions.In their efforts, both apps employ strategies that a game theorist would approve of.This was the third problem: people tended to have high expectations before the dates they had arranged online but felt disenchanted afterwards.

Now, 106 minutes are plenty for certain kinds of offline interaction but, however people were spending their time together, they didn’t seem satisfied.A simple survey that Norton conducted with two other behavioural scientists, Jeana Frost and Dan Ariely, revealed that people were unhappy with their online dating experience in three obvious ways.The first was that the “online” bit of the dating was about as much fun as booking a dentist’s appointment.She created a virtual image gallery in which people had a virtual date, represented by simple geometric avatars with speech bubbles.The images — from Lisa and Jessica Simpson to George Bush and John Kerry — were conversation starters.