1.04.2009

You're both sentient

Match.com (yes; quiet) has this new-ish feature in which they (it? whatever) offer for your perusal what they call the Daily 5: five profiles of people they feel you might be interested in, based on your own profile, geography, and stated preferences.

Now, I can understand the need to sort of go wide here in order to cough up five new people each and every day, even in a city like SF, where online dating is not exactly a novelty. But still, there seems to be more than a bit of reaching happening. To wit, the criteria on which today's five potential matches were presented to me:

#1:
  • You both fancy felines.
  • Like you, he's not a smoker.
  • He's also interested in bowling.
#2:
  • Like you, he's not a smoker.
  • He's also interested in bowling.
  • He's athletic and toned.
#3:
  • Like you, he's not a smoker.
  • He's also interested in bowling.
  • He's athletic and toned.
#4:
  • You both fancy felines.
  • Like you, he's not a smoker.
  • He has a graduate degree.
#5:
  • Like you, he's not a smoker.
  • Pretty impressive - he has a Ph.D.
  • Both of you are into swimming.
My list of desirables, I'm afraid, goes far beyond being a non-smoker (though that's, like, 1000% non-negotiable) and being up for the occasional evening of bowling. If Match would tweak the algorithm they use here to include things like "Like you, he can correctly punctuate a sentence," "Pretty impressive--he doesn't use the phrases 'I work hard and I play hard' and 'I'm into exploring new things' in his profile," and "He's a tall, skinny, cute kind-of-alternaboy-but-not-one-with-an-ironic-mullet who has a thing for Canadian pop and salted caramel and understands why you snort drinks out your nose for laughing so hard when watching 'Arrested Development,'" I might put a bit more stock in this tool.

As it is, though, the Daily 5's success rate is currently on par with allowing my 6-month-old niece to select for me. (Actually, she might even do a better job; I should enlist her help.) Perhaps Match can follow the lead of Netflix and offer $1 million to whoever can improve their algorithm by the greatest number of percentage points. I'm happy to be your equivalent of "Napoleon Dynamite" and "I Heart Huckabees," guys; I might well be that baffling in my tastes.

Oh, and in closing, a note to any potential suitors: don't let Match's hackneyed attempt at alliteration convince you to add the phrase "I fancy felines" to your profile. Very much not OK.

3 comments:

sgazzetti said...

Why is it so hard? I know that pop tastes alone do not make a relationship, but a simple "he squirts wine out his nose while watching "Flight of the Conchords" approach would go a long way toward producing a decent stack of 'maybes'.

Emily said...

Agreed, J. Maybe I should start an online dating service that matches people based on their cultural(-ish) proclivities. Because, really, if someone doesn't like at least The Office and/or Conchords and/or AD and/or Curb Your Enthusiasm, we are probably not destined to be.

Monique said...

I had no idea you were an avid bowler. It almost tops one "things in common" I got one time after filling out one of these compatibility surveys: "you are both interested in fire safety." Who knew?