Dating sites – getting too quizzical?

MySpace never really took off in the UK as much as it did in the States. I did have an account and remember catching up with an old girlfriend – my childhood sweetheart, as it happens – on the US version of the site, the UK version was a little like a morgue. It was about then, what, six years ago, that it first dawned on me how big dating sites were going to grow, such was the explicit extent of the conversations and pictures that flew across cyberspace (although the Internet was still only orbiting the ionosphere, back then). My, she had filled out since we dated at school…

…but enough of my daydreaming. I stumbled across a blog today that sort of brought this all back to me. The usual tale, one that will be very familiar to writers who date, or daters that write, of course.

This blogger started a blog (funnily enough) about a year ago, met someone who she started dating, said relationship finished and now she’s back to blogging. It could be any one of a number of past-times that fill in those slots between lovers – for me, it was always the bar, but that usually ended up in dating a.n.other from said bar and things always cooled off when the hangover finally kicked in. So blogging between dating seems a safer bet, especially if you choose to start using dating sites to meet your next potential partner as this young graduate is just starting to do.

What picked this blog out from the rest of the crowd, apart from the fact that it was very well written, was the reference to MySpace and those natty little pop-quizzes you used to get in their not-so-well disguised way of trying to build up a profile of you without you knowing, which there is quote a big hoo-har going on about now in social media circles, whereby some platforms are collecting passive data about you from your IP address and most of your profile is already created when you join, you just have to confirm your credentials – very naughty, indeed.

But as they were deemed harmless fun and even provided a way of self-expression long before we ever saw the little blue bird we had no qualms whatsoever about taking part. Plus, they were, like sex when you’re younger, over in a flash. But the comparison drawn was how the ‘grown up’ version of that MySpace pop quiz is in fact the dating site questionnaire, which is not – for this new single lady, at least – fun.

She raises a very good point and one that dating sites ought to consider – when you first go online dating, you want to get straight into the action. At that point, you are not sure whether there is anyone on the personals site, even at the free dating site stage, with whom you’d want to share your most intimate bits.

As she said, the manner of intrusion is so blunt, the kneejerk reaction is to tell the PC screen hosting the question that the information it requires is none of [its] business. To honour at least a part of her contract with the rest of the singles, the young lady did admit to entering around twenty pearls of wisdom, which has prompted several responses from members who are ‘interested’. That curiosity may have been aroused by her liking of Ms Spears or a well-made Martini – the scant detail provided thus far – however, she’s perhaps a little more convinced that it is her dating profile photo doing the talking, hence rendering the matchmaking questionnaire pointless (there’s another hot potato for those who follow this blog).

It’s one I’m going to follow, so I’ll let you know when more angst arrives from the desert, the abode said young single lady has detailed as her current address.  Toodle-pip! x

Dating site cop out

Chief Inspector ousted following dating site complaints

The fact that a serving police officer has been given his marching orders because he inadvisably divulged certain aspects of his private life on a dating site serves as a reminder to us all that the information you decide to share, on any social media platform, is very much in the public domain.

The officer fell into the same trap as many prominent society figures, from politicians to headmasters, comedians to sports stars, all have felt the backlash of airing their views in the heat of the moment.

However, as a high-ranking member of the Metropolitan Police Force, the assumed responsibility that comes with the position was adjudged to have been abused as a result of the revelations shared with the popular singles site. Following complaints about that material posted on uniformdating.com, a specialist dating site created for “anyone who works in uniform or fancies those who do!”, according to the hosts, the Independent Police Complaints Commission launched on enquiry into the chief inspector’s behaviour.

Rather than vindicate the 46-year-old, the investigation not only found the evidence that the officer had been bragging about taking drugs on the adult dating service, but also found that he had boasted about committing a sexual offence.

The officer was subsequently arrested by Kent police and given light duties only to perform whilst the enquiry ran its course. Although no criminal convictions were sought following the IPCC enquiry, due to the officer’s ignorance of the etiquette associated with public authority figures using singles dating facilities, dedicated or otherwise, the disciplinary hearing found he was guilty of gross and discreditable conduct.

The fact that the officer accessed the dating site in his own personal time held no sway, with IPCC commissioner Mike Franklin summarising, thus: “Those who discredit their role cannot expect to continue to serve the public, and, as in this case, they should be dismissed.”

The site was borne out of a communal need for careers such as those in our emergency services and armed forces. Due to unusual shift patterns and very often the necessity to work away for months on end, finding love outside these job can be tricky. Singles are more likely to hook up if they have a common understanding of the demanding side of the role.

Indeed, all of these uniform-specific careers are represented on the dating site; however, with reference to the high rank held by the chief superintendent in question, Scotland Yard reminded similar patriarchs that they must adopt “utmost humility and integrity in all areas of their lives”, not just on social platforms and bespoke internet-based dating websites.