Let’s Play a Game: Meetup, or OKCupid?

So I’ve been testing a theory recently. Making friends is a lot more similar to, and just as awkward, as finding a significant other.

You’re trying to find someone you can be yourself around, there’s the awkward dance of “are they interested in me too?” working up to either exchanging numbers or going out to do something together and trying to be friendly without being creepy.

Getting a phone number – for a friend, or a romantic interest – is just always awkward. Always. If it’s not awkward for you, don’t tell me and let me imagine it’s this hard for everyone.

I was curious what people with these two different intents – friendship and relationship – would introduce themselves. I turned to Meetup* and eHarmony to gather some data. (Even though it means I’ll probably get a million “you’ve got a match!” emails. For science! Or at least a blog post.)

About seven pages, and less than fifty percent, into the questionnaire for eHarmony (apparently you have to re-take it when re-activating your account) I rolled my eyes and went to OKCupid.

All those questions are probably great for finding a good match, but I am way too impatient for all of that.

If you’re ready, let’s play: Meetup, or OKCupid?

#1

I’m a smartass and sometimes people don’t know when I’m joking… I’m almost always joking.

#2

Don’t know what to say about me other than “I’m a big nerd. Yes I said NERD.” Only difference is I like sci-fi more than science. 

#3

“I am a Histology Technician at a local hospital. I love movies of all genres!!”

#4

I have a wide variety of passions including movies, video games, board games, card games, etc. The technological advances in the past 50 years are amazing. We are spoiled and yet we are hooked to the fast paced changes of each year.

#5

I’m a nerd about everything and anything. Video games, sciences, maths, feminism, humanism. 

#6

Hi my name is Sharon, just want to have fun.

Answers are at the bottom of the post, just like those puzzles from cereal boxes.

Feel free to go check and come back. I’ll wait.

Were you surprised? I was, in that from viewing the raw information it was really obvious what site it came from. I edited for length and obvious giveaways, but it took me quite some time to find these examples.

There are a couple of things that might be at play here.

First, with a Meetup account it’s already assumed that you’re probably going to meet a lot of these people in person. Many people don’t even have a bio at all, and when they do it’s very, very short and generally only related to the topic of the group (generally location or interest specific).

At a dating site you have to convince someone that they’d want to meet you, or at least message you, so the “about me” has to be compelling enough to induce action. These bios were much longer, and more in-depth.

While what people had to say about themselves varied greatly between the two sites, I think the above probably accounts for that.

Or maybe my hypothesis is bunk and I’m just awkward about meeting and befriending new people.

In retrospect, the sort of person that collects data like this probably would be someone that’s awkward about making friends.

*Site designed for finding activities and friends. There are singles groups, but aside from those it’s generally assumed you’re there for the activity, not to find a date.

Answers: 1, 2, 5 from OkCupid and 3,4,6 from Meetup

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