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I have an alternate hypothesis, however: that the rationalization and gamification of online dating are not reflections of how fun and easy dating is but rather tacit acknowledgements of how difficult and not fun dating is. Online dating sites make money when you use them, obviously. But assume for a moment that dating (frankly) sucks: How would those sites lure you into using them, given that their purpose—dating—isn’t very enjoyable in and of itself? By making the process of encountering other single people easier than it is conventionally (rationalization), and by incentivizing you both to keep providing more information and to keep contacting more people (gamificaton). In short, online dating hasn’t made dating too much fun; online dating is trying to compensate for the fact that dating, whether online or conventional, is often kind of a drag.
-“Dating Games” by Whitney Erin Boesel

I have an alternate hypothesis, however: that the rationalization and gamification of online dating are not reflections of how fun and easy dating is but rather tacit acknowledgements of how difficult and not fun dating is. Online dating sites make money when you use them, obviously. But assume for a moment that dating (frankly) sucks: How would those sites lure you into using them, given that their purpose—dating—isn’t very enjoyable in and of itself? By making the process of encountering other single people easier than it is conventionally (rationalization), and by incentivizing you both to keep providing more information and to keep contacting more people (gamificaton). In short, online dating hasn’t made dating too much fun; online dating is trying to compensate for the fact that dating, whether online or conventional, is often kind of a drag.

-“Dating Games” by Whitney Erin Boesel

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