A nationally representative scientific sampleof over 19,000 married and divorced people found that almost 35% of couples who married between 2005 and 2012 originally met each other online. The couples who met online were less likely to divorce, even after controlling for age, education, income, and race. Meeting over the web was also independently correlated with higher levels of marital satisfaction.
Interestingly, it matters where a couple first meets: in the wholesome, well-lit hotel ballrooms of Match.com and eHarmony? The banal, crowded corridors of Facebook?
This study says a lot about the different kinds of “neighborhoods” that people frequent online. Read more
Have you ever desperately texted your friends for advice during a date? “He just complimented me on my embarrassing beauty mark, what do I say now?”
Artist and programmer Lauren McCarthy is working on a solution for us less confident daters with an app called Social Turkers.
McCarthy used her phone to broadcast her dates live.
The video stream is viewed by the task-rabbits who take part in Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, the crowdsourcing service where you can post small tasks requiring human intelligence that people around the world complete for just a few cents.
Turkers have been asked to transcribe podcasts, search satellite maps to find missing persons, or to rate the emotions expressed in Tweets—but probably never before to help someone’s date go better. For each of McCarthy’s dates, over the course of January, Turkers could earn up to $0.25 for tuning into the live video and audio stream. Throughout the date, the “social Turkers” answered polls, wrote reviews of what they are seeing, and sent text messages to her iPhone suggesting what to say or do next—advice came quick enough for McCarthy to actually put it into action.
So someday you may not have to go on that awkward date alone. And maybe, with the help of your global network of ‘Turkers,’ it won’t even be awkward.
Finally, an app that systematically destroys your self-esteem!
This week, she’s launching WotWentWrong, a web app that solves the “mystery of why promising new romances ended unexpectedly or successful first dates vanished.” Rather than let one-time affairs just fade away—which can cause “lasting damage to someone’s self-esteem and future relationships”—Melnik has created a method for receiving customized feedback about what went wrong. “WotWentWrong is the breakup app for couples who never really broke up,” she says. “We’re providing a socially acceptable way to tie up the loose ends, learn from what happened and improve your dating Zen for the next relationship—no stalking required.”