One of the biggest reasons people don’t try online dating despite crushing loneliness is the fear that everyone out there is a lying liar who tells lies. (Or a serial killer or using myspace angles. But lies are pretty big in online dating fears, too.)
OkCupid has examined the tiny untruths everyone tells on dating sites on their OKTrends blog, and though the results are pretty well expected, it’s a fascinating read nonetheless. They used their fancy user metrics to determine exactly how dishonest you are on your profile, Pinocchio, using fancy geek tools like EXIF data on photos to collapse your whole dating house of cards.
First off on the list of common deceptions is one that people have been lying about since before humans probably even formally dated: height. Interestingly, height’s siamese twin weight was not mentioned, probably because the site doesn’t ask for numbers in this regard. But many male users lie about their height to the tune of about two inches, and women tend to deceive height-wise more to reach a median height- meaning taller women would say they were shorter, but very short women might add a few inches. Since you’re thinking it, penis length was not mentioned in this portion. Also, the taller a chick is, the more likely she is to put out.
Secondly, with the musing that the “online dater’s imagination is the best performing mutual fund of the last 10 years,” OkCupid reveals you’re all a hell of a lot poorer than you project yourself to be. By 20%, in fact. People on the site regularly boost their personal wealth, which is kind of a surprise considering how many of the users seem to be unemployed given a quick browse of the site. Luckily for you, date-seeker, the dating site not only gives you a slider to see how likely a user is to be fudging their financials, but they even provide a tool to flag prospective dates as fiscal fibbers:
As a public service, we’ve decided to make our income calculations available. The following widget will calculate the statistically expected income of your potential matches; you give it a gender, an age, and a zip code, and it’ll spit out a salary. Then you can confront your dates about exactly how much money they probably do or don’t make. Fun!
Another area of subterfuge, not surprisingly, was based on photos. While men have taken up and revolted misogynistically against the use of MySpace Angles, creative photo positioning and use of contrast can only do so much. As such, the use of very old pics is also rife on social networking sites- but that’s not all. If a picture is very hot, it is likely to be older. While one out of five pics on OkCupid is over a year old, one out of five of the best pics are actually over two years old. A lot can happen in two years- just ask Lindsay Lohan.
Last up is a common area of dating confusion- OkCupid treads carefully here so as not to offend, and even promises a further blog post examining the data. But according to trends, four out of five users who claim to be bisexual actually never or rarely message members of both sexes, sticking to one gender in their messaging trends. OkCupid was quick to point out that the information is merely what trends suggest, and not an indictment of bisexuals as a bunch of fakers. But the data seems to indicate that that hot bi chick you’re messaging may not be as sexually adventurous as she claims:
I know this will come as a big letdown to the straight male browsing population: three-fourths of your fantasies are, in fact, fantasies of a fantasy. Like bi men, most bi women are, for whatever reason, not observably bi. The primacy of America’s most popular threesome, two dudes and an Xbox, is safe.
The upcoming metrics on sexuality should be very interesting. Are you an OkCupid user? Have you been blatantly or subtly lied to? How honest is your profile?