Friday, August 13, 2010
A Technical Foul for Dr. Neil Clark Warren
Let's recall my eHarmony newsletter "advice" article from a few days ago. As I continue to get these (they're pulling really hard for me to renew my membership right now...all these summer romances must put a kink in their usual steady stream of business), I've noticed that so many of the articles are telling women what they need to do to "snag" a man, essentially. So, before I wrote this post and basically tore into one of the highest grossing internet businesses of all time, I decided to check out their main page and see if this fact continued to be true. I very uncharacteristically gave them the benefit of the doubt and thought that maybe, just maybe, their online newsletter database knew that I was a female and catered their articles to fit my pursuits. Upon further review, I'm pretty sure that's not the case.
I'm surprised at you, Dr. Neil Clark Warren. Your website seems to be teeming with links to sexist articles insinuating that our Singleton-status is somehow related to something that we have or haven't done. "Five Photos that Make You Look Undateable," "Top 5 Male Turnoffs," "5 Types of Women Men Avoid" are all actual, real titles of articles on the main Dating Advice Eharmony page. At first glance, these articles seem helpful. "Wow," you think, "I sure hope I don't fall into one of those five categories." And unless you're a certified, card-carrying psychopath who has never been in the company of the opposite sex, you probably won't. They're so far-fetched and so ridiculously obvious that they are anything but helpful. You open the link thinking that you may find the answer to the reason why you haven't been on a date in two months or why you can't get men to move past the text messaging stage of communication only to learn that none of these things apply to you, leaving you still wondering, still frustrated and even less excited about dating. It's not that easy, but Dr. Warren wants you to think it is...and if you buy into this article, realize what you shouldn't do anymore to be successful, sign up for the automated draft of $60 a month from your checking account, you too can connect with someone on 29 levels of compatibility. (<- have you guys picked up on my sarcasm yet? Sometimes I write it and wonder if it comes through as I intended!)
The more people I talk to who have had any success with online dating the more I hear that it had almost nothing to do with online compatibility and almost all to do with luck. Most of the time I hear things like "Well, he was actually my friend's match" or "He messaged me right before my membership ran out and I figured I'd give it one last shot." So, I've decided that I don't want to leave it up to luck anymore and I'm tired of the exhausting searching, email exchanges, phone number exchanges, limiting text message conversations, only to end in aggravation and prayers that this stranger out in cyberland will just go away and leave me alone. I'm officially taking a break from online dating altogether and going to try my hand at the old fashioned way.