Rules of SurvivalWritten by Ryan Adam Smith
Eat, Sleep, and Be Good Looking.
For all the great things the Internet has done for our lives--making it easy to book hotels and flights, mish mashing cultures, calling bullshit on your friends with a quick Google search—one downfall is that it has rendered actual communication worthless. As much as I have fought to take pen to paper and use my phone as a way to communicate through voice only, I must admit email and text is an efficient way to communicate with individuals, and Facebook is the ultimate tool for telling a bunch of people how important we are. Now, playing to our most superficial and primal instincts, I’ve found a site that finally plans to put all ugly people in their place.
With millions of people attracted to on-line dating, there is little doubt the vast majority of the world’s population will soon find their mates on-line. And we all have Internet dating stories. They are the stories that make us cry when it happens to us, and the stories that make us laugh hysterically when it happens to our divorced parents. But a dating website I’ve come across, OKCupid , is working to rob us all of these stories, rob me of belly-aching laughs, and perhaps eliminate all ugly people from cyber dating.
For those looking to use the site as a possible dating forum, OKCupid promises to separate the beautiful people from the ugly people. If the site deems you have the “looks” then you will be introduced and shown to people who also have the “looks.” If you’re ugly then you’re picture is thrown in with aging strippers and circus freaks. Here is an example of an email from the site to a “good-looking” person:
“We are very pleased to report that you are in the top half of OKCupid's most attractive users. The scales recently tipped in your favor, and we thought you'd like to know...
Your new elite status comes with one important privilege: You will now see more attractive people in your match results.
This new status won't affect your actual match percentages, which are still based purely on your answers and desired match's answers. But the people we recommend will be more attractive. Also! You'll be shown to more attractive people in their match results.”
Is it not bad enough that the beautiful already get to have less personality? I don’t think many will disagree with me when I say most of us want to date someone "good looking." But shouldn’t each individual decide what’s attractive? One man’s “fat chick” is another's “curvaceous beauty.” One woman’s “disgusting short-guy” is another’s Ron Jeremy. Besides, hasn’t anyone heard of good old fashioned alcohol to make a person better looking? It’s why they ended prohibition: too many single people and not enough baby-making.
But my main problem with OKCupid is that this level of Gestapo bullshit causes a new form of segregation and eliminates the underdog story. Now that society is starting to get past skin color, sexual preference, and gender, are we going to separate people plainly based on their level of attractiveness? Isn’t plastic surgery already enough of an epidemic! If we eliminate people based solely on their looks, then what is left for personality? Less attractive people take it up a notch in wit, intelligence, and humor. Seth Rogen figured it out and probably would have been in the bottom 50% of the OKCupid scale, but his wit and charm allowed him to rise against. A true underdog.
Yet, as I clearly stand on the side against OKCupid's fascist regime, my internal devil’s advocate sees their method as somewhat intriguing and efficient. I’ve used on-line tools to compare certain styles of shoes, clothes, and homes. Why not apply those same methods to dating? What are the chances I walk into a bar and the woman I happen to fancy thinks Tim Tebow’s overrated, the color yellow’s underrated, and is Harvard educated and willing to support me (totally my type)? Most of all, what are the chances that woman has any interest in me?
So maybe OKCupid's doing everyone a favor by forcing us to date within our talent pool, even if we’re delusional about what’s in our talent pool (since writing this I’ve opened my imaginary dating pool to girls that attended Stanford). If cyber-dating only introduces us to people within our league, our chances of success are probably much higher. Take for example an experiment I will never conduct. If I were to post a picture of Brad Pitt next to a picture of Gary Busey, which star would get more emails and phone calls? Gary Busey’s receding gum-line would never stand a chance against Brad Pitt’s jaw-line. But if the picture of Brad Pitt was never posted than Gary Busey might stand a chance at finding a date.
By separating the beautiful from the ugly, OKCupid could actually be making dating easier. You’d be fishing in a bucket rather than a lake. Of course this only works if 50% of the population is Okay with being ugly. Personally, I would cheat the system by using Photo-shop to touch-up my picture. Yet, I can’t imagine dating someone that would stoop to those same levels—weird.
Sites like OKCupid should only be used by those looking for a quick fix, but I would not plan on finding a soul-mate from just a picture. But judging by the millions of people already signed-up for OKCupid , perhaps I am wrong, perhaps I have too much time on my hands, perhaps I’ve been out of the dating so long it’s fun to judge those of you still single.
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