Many, many people spend thousands of hours of their lives in pursuit of that special someone. Which is why making a business out of romance has been an age-old pursuit: florists for courtship; jewelers for marriage.It's only sensible, then, that with the scalable economics of the internet, industrial-scale matchmakers would come along. OR DOESN'T Online dating arrived with the web — in the early nineties — and was an evolution of the commercial matchmaking services of that time: lonely hearts ads, video-dating, and so on.A study in 2010 showed that people, far from messaging each other evenly across the range of races, ages, and attractiveness, quite predictably emailed the most attractive, successful, and intelligent people, irrespective of whether those people matched the criteria message-senders had themselves specified.
It's rare for this to be the only thing a website will want its users to do, though.
Research decades old has shown that what people say they want, and what they actually go for, are really quite different.
That seems to undercut a fairly fundamental assumption of dating websites: that a list of romantic opinions, physical attributes, and financial or professional demands can be as unhelpful and as ultimately useless as a shopping list you've left at home.
A very subjective version of "science" is deployed in place of efficient matchmaking.
Instead of fixing holes in a flawed concept, dating websites are fixing holes in the user's online experience to make them spend longer on the site, so they can be served more advertising.