What’s Up with This Dating Site Thing?
It used to be people, who would just go to bars to meet someone, either for a fun night or for an actual relationship beyond bootie calls. Maybe some people would meet in bookstores or Starbucks or something, but we never had luck there. We don’t know anyone who did, either. It’s just something that happens in the movies our ladies make us watch. But now, it seems like everyone’s too busy, too tired or too worried about violent criminals disguised as perfectly nice men and women to really try the bar scene. Instead, something’s come up in its place: internet dating sites.
How They Work
We don’t actually know how dating sites got started, since none of us have set one up. We should get on that, though. We’d make good money out of it. Anyway, the way these sites work is that they advertise the hell out of them, get TV ads, go through Google AdSense, all kinds of things, until they’re plastered across the Internet. They get people’s attention when they’re screwing around and avoiding work—not that we’d know anything about that—and get visitors. These visitors view ads on the dating site, which brings them some money, and at least a few initial visitors sign up and fill out all the info required. Then the visitors tell their friends about the site, and it spreads like the flu. When there are enough users for a decent database, which could happen in a matter of days or take a couple of months, the site starts comparing data using algorithms the programmers and people who think they’re expert matchmakers and probably some others came up with. It then suggests people for you to contact. If you’re lucky, you’ll get someone who’s a great match; if you’re not, you’ll get a girl who likes art house movies and only drinks tea hand-picked by monks from an ancient secret order or something.
Does It Actually Work, Though?
Well, yes. That’s why there are so many sites. Some of them have hundreds of thousands of users and have matched thousands of couples who are married with 2 kids, a Golden Retriever, and a white picket fence out in the suburbs. They’ve probably also matched some who live in custom-decorated penthouses in Manhattan, but we’re a little less sure about that. It’s entirely possible executives have their personal assistants pick someone for them to date. Either way, the sites definitely work for at least a percentage of their users.
Why Do People Use Them Instead of Going Out?
People are busier than they were thirty, forty years ago. Work hours are longer, especially for salaried employees. Some people have two jobs just to rent a crappy studio apartment that doesn’t even come with a refrigerator out in the Bronx. Work is more demanding, making employees cram more into their designated under-thirty-five hours a week so that they’re exhausted when they get home and can’t go out to meet anyone without falling asleep with their drinks in hand. Then there’s just the fact that people don’t really like strangers in their faces. It used to be that people knew their neighbors and took care of each other when something bad happened in their family; now we don’t even know the people in our buildings. We have hundreds of Facebook friends and aren’t close to any of them. We wouldn’t even recognize most of them if we saw them on the street. In an environment like that, of course people turn to online dating. It’s a safe way to get to know someone, really know them beyond three-word status updates. This way, when we meet them in person, we know their stories, their likes and dislikes, and it makes the whole thing easier. The relationship can move a little faster and fit with the speed of our lives.
And that’s why dating sites are so successful and so popular.