Friday, September 19, 2008

I am on a dating site

In college, I recall that I had some good times on, now defunct. The main content on the site was surveys: lots and lots of surveys. You know, the kind of annoying ones that people post on Facebook and MySpace and beg you to take as well, so you can see what kind of a date you are, or how much of a Simpsons fan you are, or how gay you are, and so forth. The ones that The Spark wrote were a bit more amusing than others. My roommate and I were followers of the site. Eventually, the proprietors realized that a survey site plus social networking features equalled a dating site, and thus OkCupid was born. Several of us at college joined up and added each other as friends, and then we could see how we each scored on the various tests. You know, for non-dating purposes.

Once OkCupid was built, TheSpark had no real reason to exist anymore, so most of that site disappeared, leaving SparkNotes, their free online Cliff's Notes equivalent. Fast forward to today. OkCupid still exists, and it seems that it is an actual dating site now. SparkNotes still exists, but it was bought by Barnes and Noble, and it has spawned SparkLife, a sort of portal for college students. And now OkCupid has spawned Hello Quizzy, which appears to sort of just be a mirror of the OkCupid site without the focus on dating. It is a complicated history.

So, the end result is that I had a profile on a dating site that I didn't even know about until they just spontaneously started sending me potential dates a few days ago. I had basically forgotten that the site existed until then—I'd heard the name mentioned a year or so ago and simply thought, "does that site still exist?" I got bored of taking surveys pretty quickly, and stopped going there. But, I've had an account there all this time, with a pictureless profile that said something to the effect of "I'm just here to take the surveys." I think I'd have been creeped out to find that I still had an active account there if I'd actually spent any time on it and talked about myself.

A couple nights ago, I got sucked into my old college habits without even noticing, and started answering questions and surveys again. There is seemingly something very appealing to having a computer program be so endlessly interested in useless minutae of your life and opinions about pointless topics.