I know people who have a handful of things they're looking for in a mate, but who have grocery lists that are three pages long. You are grocery shopping for a soulmate. There isn't a lot of science behind cracking the code. It's about figuring out what you need to make you happy and then going out and getting it. You know, in my case, I didn't want to go out on 50 dates. I wanted to go out on one date with the right person and be done. Well, as it turns out, this worked pretty well.
So I go back online now, I found JewishDoc57, who's incredibly good looking, incredibly well-spoken. He had walked along the Great Wall. He likes to travel as long as it doesn't involve a cruise ship, right.
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And I thought I've done it. I've cracked the code. I have just found the Jewish Prince Charming Of my family's dreams. There was only one problem - he didn't like me back. And I guess the one variable that I haven't considered is the competition. Who are all of the other women on these dating sites? She said she was a fun girl who is happy and outgoing. She listed her job as teacher.
She said she is silly, nice and friendly. She likes to make people laugh a lot. At this moment, I knew, clicking after profile, after profile, after profile that looked like this that I needed to do some market research. So I created 10 fake, male profiles. Now before I lose all of you All right, understand that I did this strictly to gather data about everybody else in the system. I didn't carry on crazy catfish-style relationships with anybody.
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I really was just scraping their data. But I didn't want everybody's data. I only wanted data on the women who were going to be attracted to the type of man that I really, really wanted to marry. And mainly what I was looking at was two different data sets.
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So I was looking at qualitative data - so what was the humor, the tone, the voice, the communication style that these women shared in common - and also quantitative data - so what was the average length of their profile, what - how much time was spent between messages? I wanted to figure out how to maximize my own profile online. And as it turns out, I did a really good job. I was the most popular person online. And as it turns out, lots and lots of men wanted to date me.
Well, not too long after that, I found this guy. And he said that he was culturally Jewish.
He talked in detail about travel. He looked and talked exactly like what I wanted. And immediately, he scored points. It was enough for a date. Three weeks later, we met up in person for what turned out to be a hour-long conversation that went from coffee shop to restaurant to another coffee shop to another restaurant.
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Well, a year and a half after that, we were non-cruiseship traveling through Petra, Jordan when he got down on his knee and proposed. A year after that, we were married. And about a year and a half after that, our daughter, Petra, was born. It's like a movie. I mean, it's amazing that that happened, that all that happened. So afterwards, I eventually did show him the list. So fourth date in I had said, listen, I got to tell you something. And I took the list out, and I said here's how we came to be together. And he thought that it was great.
One of the things that was on the list was I was looking for somebody who would appreciate the beauty of a well-crafted spreadsheet.
I mean, so if technology is, like, changing, you know, the way we find love, right. And if the algorithms can be gamed - I don't know - couldn't it, like, lead to the perfect person, like, the person you are meant to be with forever? I think technology is a really useful tool to bring people together. But at the end of the day, it's up to us. Technology has made a lot of things in life much more efficient, much easier. Love is something that takes work.
And it takes work even if you found your soulmate, your 1,point man or woman, the person that you are looking for who is the perfect person for you. You both still have to put in some effort. And technology can't solve for that critical element of any relationship. For love to endure, it takes human capital. It takes sweat equity, understanding, and it takes people. Amy Webb, she told her story in a memoir. In a moment, the science behind who you love.
Amy Webb: How I hacked online dating | TED Talk
Amy Webb was having no luck with online dating, so she started treating the world of online dating as data — effectively hacking her way to finding a spouse.
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So I was looking for compatibility in terms of work ethic, religion. So I started writing. You know, musical tastes I wanted somebody who had a certain attitude towards money I was looking for somebody who was going to be 20 pounds heavier than I was at all times. Her system worked to a point — until she realized that her scoring system needed to be a two-way street. The men she picked needed to pick her back.
In order to maximize her profile, she created fake male profiles to perform market research that would enable her to create qualitative and quantitative data sets. Her hard work paid off. Amy Webb was previously an award-winning reporter for Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal, and is the author of Data: She heads the digital strategy house Webbmedia Group , and is the founder of SparkCamp , a weekend discussion series that focuses on big ideas around media. Watch her TED Talk: How I Hacked Online Dating. Online Data Science Degree Blog.
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