Jewish World Review Sept. 29, 2003 / 3 Tishrei, 5764

Ian Shoales

Ian Shoales
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Consumer Reports

Rejected by a dating site


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | The Wall Street Journal informed me recently that the online dating scene is getting a little choosy. I'd assumed that dating sites welcomed with anybody with a credit card and desperate longing. But one Nik Bosyk, after taking the eHarmony site's compulsory 45 minute personality test, was rejected. Rejected by the Internet? Mr. Bosyk wondered, according to the WSJ, "Is that even possible?"

Not only possible, it is a grim reality. And eHarmony is not alone. TheSquare.com demands that its members have a degree from "an elite

college," and you must provide transcripts to prove it. Match.com has a personality test that "includes brutally frank assessments," even listing the applicant's "quirks" that might leave you potentially dateless.

Friendster.com, the hipster's favorite dating site, won't let you in without an invitation from a member. According to the San Francisco Weekly, however, Friendster has been having its own unique problems: "fakesters." The site was intended as a place for people with mutual interests to find each other, preferably people who know each other in the real world. It has a strict policy: "You must agree to be yourself in your profile."

A bunch of members willfully violate this policy, calling themselves things like Retarded Raver, Pure Evil, and G-d Almighty. Many have joined what they call a "Borg Collective," determined to evade the site's censors and change its policies.

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One fakester, who calls himself "Roy Batty," after the replicant leader in BLADE RUNNER, told the Weekly that he uses a fake identity on Friendster.com because "Identity is provisional. It's fluid."

That's not much of a pickup line, in my opinion, but then again, if "Roy Batty" believes that who he is changes from moment to moment, then he not only can't know what he wants (like a date), he can't even know for sure who the "he" is who is wanting.

Well, this kind of thinking makes the provisional "I" of me reach for the Tylenol. Happiness is provisional? Identity is provisional? If word gets out, nobody will ever date again --- at least not without first administering the Voight-Kampf empathy test (again, see BLADE RUNNER for details).

And if it reveals that your potential significant other is a replicant or a dating site hacker with too much time on his or her hands? You're on your own, I'm afraid, whoever "you" are.

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JWR contributor Ian Shoales is the author of, among others, Not Wet Yet: An Anthology of Commentary. Comment by clicking here.

Up

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© 2003, Ian Shoales