It’s bad enough that scientists felt a need to prove that smoking while eating a jelly donut on a moving motorcycle is bad for you. Now they’ve turned a calculating eye towards dating websites to expose a fact that most of us already know: finding love on the internet is not guaranteed.
The scientists did not base their study on the testimonial of paid actors on late night informercials but on the algorithms used on such websites as eHarmony, OKCupid and Chemistry. After reviewing over 400 studies and surveys, they found the algorithms are as effective at finding love as randomly paging through a phone book provided it isn’t currently propping up a college student’s $25.00 sofa.
Part of me thinks the reason the scientists released this less than flattering study is because they can personally attest to the ineffectiveness of the websites. Look at the co-authors’ names: Eli Finkel, Paul Eastwick, Benjamin Karney, Harry Reis and Susan Sprecher. The names of Eastwick and Karney may have a chance on match.com, but Sprecher sounds like a name you hack up after drinking too much cough syrup. Then there is Harry Reis and Eli Finkel. Any algorithm would probably take their info and immediately spit out: CHANGE YOUR NAME.
Love is a fickle thing and bringing science and algorithms into the mix proves it only more. Just look at Finkel’s response to the study:
To date there is no compelling evidence that any online dating matching algorithms actually works and believe me I’ve tried them all, repeatedly. I’ve even combined a few of them together, which I don’t recommend unless you want to be matched with your second cousin.
Photo Courtesy of Renjith Krishnan