It may seem like a chapter from a dystopian fantasy to some, but George Orwell must be up in heaven, shaking a stick at us, saying ‘I told you so!’. Not only is Big Brother watching us, but he is evaluating all of the information on our dating sites to try and figure out one of the grandest emotions of them all: lurve.
The problem with academia’s assessment of the subject of love in the past, and its precursor, dating, is that the only sources of reference have been collated from information ‘volunteered’ from exercises such as censuses and early investigations into basic mate selection. Well, there were some pretty heavy explorations in the Free Love era of the late sixties but what Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix contributed could never be studied in a dope-free classroom.
No, what matchmaking and dating sites provide the researchers with is an open window into what singles, many of whom have never been in a long-term relationship before, really want from a partner and not what has either been interpreted by a Victorian professor in times when showing an ankle was tantamount to scandal or what was written on an official government form because you thought that was what was expected of you, either from your partner or society as a whole.
Recent research is more credible than ever, with worldwide dating site hits being estimated at 600,000,000 in one month (source: Experian Hitwise). And that’s conservative. When you’re looking to head up an enquiry into the essence of love revolving around the impact of online dating you need someone knowledgeable in dealing with motorways of human traffic – the good sort on the web, that is.
dating sites key to emotive catalysts
Andrew T Fiore is a Facebook scientist, so his insight into volume was invaluable. Assessing the criteria, he was also positive in acknowledging the role dating sites play, since the online world integrates more into the offline one more every day, stating that they provide “true-to-life context for examining the risks, uncertainties and rewards of initiating real relationships.”
Not only is Big Brother assessing what makes us want to approach someone, but also about what we are prepared to reveal ourselves. Andrew’s peer, Margaret Meads, has targeted some of the biggest online dating platforms to gauge other essential motivators, such as attraction, trust, deceit, our cultural background and political preference – all have bearings on whom we weigh up as possible dating material.
What did Big Brother make of it all? Find out more about our brave new world in the next chapter…