The jig is up: OKCupid has been playing tricks on unsuspecting daters in the name of research, and their founder says it’s NBD.
It’s cool, though. Their findings, although maybe not super flattering, are amusing nonetheless. So what did we learn while OKCupid poked at our brains (and hearts?).
1. We really are shallow as hell
On January 15th, 2013, OKCupid launched “Love is Blind Day.” Of course, you didn’t know about it because it was one of their secret experiments, duh. During the daytime hours, they disabled user profile pics, and you know what? People were not into it — usage went way way down.
2. No really, we’re super shallow
Now it could have been heartwarming. During those picture-free hours, OKCupid found conversations went deeper, lasted longer and contact info was exchanged quicker. Which is great except, when they turned the picture functions back on, all that happy talk vanished. “It was like we’d turned on the bright lights at the bar at midnight,” Rudder wrote. Ouch.
3. Hot blind dates can bum a lady out
You’d assume any red-blooded straight woman would think she’d hit the jackpot if her blind date turned out to be Chris Hemsworth or Idris Elba, but OKCupid found that ladies who rated their blind dates as particularly attractive had a slightly less enjoyable time.
4. That doesn’t stop us from pursuing the more attractive guys and dumping the less hot ones
Regardless of whether they had a nice time in person, the data doesn’t lie: The higher a guy’s perceived hotness, the more likely it would be that women — the same women who were unimpressed with Chris and Idris in person — would reply to another message from them online.
5. We perceive looks and personality to be basically the same thing
When OKCupid researchers charted people on two axes, “looks” and “personality,” a surprising trend appeared: The hotter a person was, the better their personality. What a strange coincidence. Now if you were an optimistic person, you could also say that it’s just because a great personality makes someone more attractive, but to that we refer you to items one and two.
6. You could literally write gibberish in your profile and if people thought you were attractive you’d be set
According to the research, what your profile says accounts for only about 10 percent of what people think about you. The rest? Yeah, the pictures. Better start snapping some shots of you holding puppies while scaling a mountain to get all your strengths across at once.
7. When someone says you’re a good match with someone, you’re inclined to believe them even if they are wrong
That’s right, even if said someone is a dating website staffer doing experiments on you. The OKCupid love trolls actually purposely suggested people were good matches for each other when they really weren’t, to see if the suggestion would actually make the daters like each other. The result? Yes. The higher the match percentage, the more often a message turned into a full conversation, even if the original match was complete bunk. Oh OKCupid, you just want to watch the world burn.
So, lesson learned: If you want to be super good at online dating, post the sexiest picture of yourself you can find, let your cat walk across your keyboard (since words don’t matter), and sit back and wait for true love. Thanks, OKCupid.