I’ve been undercover lately. As a kid, I always wanted to be a spy, to know secrets and wear tuxedos all the time. But real life spying wasn’t in the cards for me, so instead I made a fake profile to find out what women really experience with online dating, all in the effort to present myself optimally.
I’d love to tell you what I learned, and eventually I will, but first you need to know my methods (You don’t NEED to, but I’m telling you anyway):
I created two profiles on OKCupid, the website’s entire hook is it asks you questions, and based on those questions, you’re given a compatibility score with any number of daters. Now for our two fake ladies, I gave them different (but very basic) personalities, and sat back and observed how people interacted with them.!
Girl number one:
And girl number two:
I purposefully made both profiles extremely similar, based them in the same city, and included the same reference to the documentary Catfish. Where the girls differed was in HOW I answered questions for each of them, and the pictures I used.
For girl number one I answered the questions far more sexually open, and her pictures tended to openly display her sexuality. For girl number two, I answered her questions more sexually conservatively. She had after all just gotten out of a bad relationship.
I used the pictures of Facebook friends (with consent). Girl number one takes pole dancing classes, and while in the context of her Facebook and in real life she isn’t a whore, for the purposes of THIS experiment I felt it best to give her those traits, and make her an ex dancer (sorry!!). For girl number two I used face shots and covered up pictures.
The difference in messages should’ve been entirely different, I figured that girl number one was going to get the sexually explicit messages, and girl number two would get the regular guys! But what happened was that BOTH girls received relatively the same percentages of message types, and in some cases from the same guys.
The only major differences I observed were that in the messages to girl number one, pictures and specific quotes would be referenced, other than that it was mostly guys looking for sex. I am mostly appalled by how FEW genuine messages either girl received. The breakdown of genuine messages to salacious messages is roughly 1:5 for girl one and a whopping 1:30 for girl two.
Once I discovered that there was virtually no difference between the types of messages both girls were getting, I decided to cancel one of the profiles, and focus on just girl number one (as she was receiving a TON of messages)
I also noticed that guys seemed to not mind sending the same message to both girls, nor did they seem to mind sending a message, getting no response, sending another, getting no response, and then finally either giving up, or calling “me” a bitch.
This was interesting to me, because I’d never thought to send a girl a message after being rejected once. My method was to always send a message, wait for a response, and if no response came, to not worry about it. The online dating pool is far too deep to assume a connection, when one isn’t present. But I digress!
So what were the results? I’ll tell you next week! But until then, enjoy some random observations.
Couples didn’t seem to mind messaging “me” despite a clear disclaimer dissuading such behavior.! Guys from multiple states away (and sometimes countries) would message me.
1. No one really paid attention to the percentages. Guys with an 80% “enemy” rating still approached as if the fundamental design of the site was off.
2. Women approach women far more aggressively on the site than I ever would’ve thought.
3. Guys generally made no effort to apply information found in my profile, to the actual messages sent.! Guys with no compatibility had no problem paying money to message girl number 2.
(This happens when the inbox is full, OKCupid let’s you pay a dollar to allow your message to get through anyway.)
4. Nine guys did this, and none of them even brought up the fact they had paid to message me, even when ! I didn’t message them back.!
**Initially, I had a friend help me manage one of the profiles due to sheer volume, and on occasion he would instigate messages, but once I reduced the profiles to one that stopped happening. Messages instigated BY the profile are so rare, I only include this disclaimer for factual accuracy.