‘User Replies Selectively’
There’s more to online dating than clicking a button
A while back, I read an article called “Why Girls in Their Twenties are Single and Remain Single” by Joe Welkie. It pointed out some hilarious facts about dealing with women on online dating sites. His argument that women in their twenties have very little dating success is mainly supported by his experience with women who demand, “impress me” and “be witty” in their profiles, while they themselves lack wit and have the social skills of a wall.
While I agree with some of his points, there is one aspect of online dating which Welkie fails to recognize, which has been an overwhelming part of my experience.
From the smorgasbord of dating apps and sites, my preference is OkCupid. I know Tinder is where it’s at right now; it’s easy and simple — swipe left for no, swipe right if you think the person is hot.
The thing is, no one is taking the time to read or even write in the little “About Me” section and they are just interested in looking at pictures. Personally, I prefer knowing that the people I’m messaging can chew gum and walk at the same time before I say hello.
Plenty of Fish has an option for extensive profile information; however, it is notorious for being filled with people just looking for sex — which I am not. Thus, OkCupid is the little cyber-love lounge I frequent the most.
For example, after going online to check my messages for 10 minutes or so, the OkCupid app told me that I’ve appeared in 369 search results in the last 24 hours. 369! The longer I’m online, the higher that number jumps up and therefore the more messages I get. After going online for a short amount of time, it’s not unusual that when I check in again within a day or two, I will have at least eight messages from new people. From there, my message pool just keeps growing. I shudder to think what would happen if I accidentally left myself logged on for a whole day.
However, most of the messages are not worth my time, and go along the lines of, “Hey, how’s it going?”
For anyone who is about to send a message to someone online: I am going to say it is going good. Unless you are a good friend who would be interested to know what is really going on in my life, it will always be going good.
When you’re drowning in an ever-expanding sea of messages like these, the standards dictating who I have time to reply to become harsher and harsher. The ones who send me the “Hey, how’s it going?” are almost always the first to be cut. It’s like the Hunger Games of internet dating.
This is why my profile tells visitors that “user replies selectively,” and is perhaps why Welkie accuses the women of online dating of having no social skills.
When so many messages are flooding into my inbox, I don’t have time to check every single profile and see if Mr. or Miss Hey, How’s It Going actually has something in common with me.
I can either just ignore the message or reply with an equally non-descript message and that conversation is just not worth the effort. The best messages I’ve ever received on OkCupid are the ones that reference the things I’m doing in my photos or the information I’ve written in my profile.
I do actually instigate conversations too. I use that tactic of commenting on something significant about the person’s profile, and have been lucky enough to have decent conversations about books, music and television shows with a lot of people.
Messages don’t have to be funny, witty or even nice to get attention either. If you tell me that you think Batman is shit and Superman is where it’s at, I will defend my Dark Knight to the death. As a result, we’ll have a damn good conversation and maybe, just maybe, we’ll actually want to meet each other in the real world.
Welkie’s argument is that a combination of issues — including having the social skills of a wet mop — is the reason why some women in their twenties are in a perpetual state of “forever alone,” but I’m willing to bet that Mr. Hey, How’s It Going is in the same boat.