Basically, every bozo can now be a stud.
Take Derek, a regular user of OkCupid who lives in New York. What Im about to say is going to sound very mean, but Derek is a pretty boring white guy. Medium height, thinning brown hair, nicely dressed and personable, but nothing immediately magnetic or charming. He isnt unattractive, but he wouldnt necessarily turn heads if he walked into a bar or party.
At our focus group on online dating in Manhattan, Derek got on OkCupid and let us watch as he went through his options. These were women whom OkCupid had selected as potential matches for him based on his profile and the sites algorithm. The first woman he clicked on was very beautiful, with a witty profile page, a good job, and lots of shared interests, including a love of sports. After looking it over for a minute or so, Derek said: Well, she looks okay. Im just gonna keep looking for a while.
I asked what was wrong, and he replied, She likes the Red Sox.
I was completely shocked. I couldnt believe how quickly he just moved on. Imagine the Derek of twenty years ago, finding out that this beautiful, charming woman wanted to date him. If she was at a bar and smiled at him, Derek of 1993 would have melted. He wouldnt have walked up and said, Oh, wait, you like the Red Sox?! No thank you! and put his hand on her face and turned away. Derek of 2013 just clicked an X on a web browser tab and deleted her without thinking twice, like a J.Crew sweatshirt that didnt live up to his expectations upon seeing a larger picture.
Derek didnt go for the next one either, despite the fact that the woman was comparably attractive. For ten or fifteen minutes Derek flipped his way around the site without even showing a hint of enthusiasm for any of the numerous extremely compelling who were there looking for romance, until he settled on one and typed out a simple message, leaving the others to die in browser history.
Now, let me say that I liked Derek. He was a nice person and I feel horrible about calling him a boring white guy. My point is that he did not strike me as a stud. But wow, when you watched him comb through those profiles, he had a stud mentality. I couldn't help thinking that he and who knows how many other people are doing a lot better with online dating than they would in other forums. Derek and all online daters, men and women, are being presented with more romantic possibilities than ever before, and it is clearly changing their whole approach to finding a potential mate.
Aziz Ansari, Modern Romance
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