Today, social media has taken over our daily lives. It has not only changed the way that we communicate with our friends and family members, but it has also changed the way do business, and because people are so busy with their careers they barely have enough time to date the traditional way. However, online dating has made things easier for us to meet our future spouses.
Although it has made things easier, it has made us become more cautious. We have all heard about the catfish stories, but what is this about people being used as experiments?
“Guess what, everybody: If you use the Internet, you’re the subject of hundreds of experiments at any given time, on every site. That’s how websites work”.
We already know that Facebook uses user’s photos and data for surveys that they conduct, and have been doing so before their users were publicly made aware. So, it shouldn't come to no surprise that a dating site would do the same, right?
There are three main experiences that OkCupid conducts. Two of which are revolved around user photos, no surprise there, and one on how users on a dating site interact with one another. I guess the second test would have to be conducted so that these sites can determine an “accurate” success rate of daters.
One test that was done back in January 2013 was “Love is Blind Day”, where the site temporarily removed all users’ photos to see how it would affect their interactions, and of course the sites traffic went down significantly. However, those that did use the site during that responded to first messages more often and exchanged contact information more quickly…until the photos were restored which caused conversations that had started “blindly” fade away.
This study shows that people are very superficial, at least the majority are. As humans, we like what we like. So when it comes to dating, we tend to first look at a person’s physical appearance before approaching that person…in both real life and online.
People want to seen with someone who compliments them in an attractive way. This can also factor down when it comes to reproduction. As individuals we usually tend to be more attracted to the physical attributes of someone because we want beautiful offspring.
In addition, the experiment also found that men and women who actually tried out a “blind” date reported having a good time regardless of how attractive their date was. Women who participated in these dates with more attractive men were reportedly less satisfied than those who went on dates with less attractive men.
Rudder stated that the reason being is because “hotter guys were assholes more often”, which can be true to a certain extent depending on the person, and vice-versa for “prettier women”.
This goes to show that in the dating world, we cannot keep relying on looks, which is probably the main reason why so many men and women complain about it being hard to find a good mate. We have to learnt to let our guard down a little and spend more time getting to know a person’s personality, their interests, beliefs and other more important things that are only revealed as we get to know a person internally.
The last photo-focused experiment consisted of deciding whether there was a correlation between how users scored each other for looks and personality.
“The thinking was to see whether users would positively rate a user’s personality, even if they didn't positively rate a user’s personality, even if they didn't rate their looks”, Rudder explained.
The results found that looks still trumped other factors and users positively-rated the users of the people that they found attractive, even if the rest of their profile was empty.
“So, your picture is worth that fabled thousands words, but your actual words are worth…almost nothing”, Rudder said.