I was discussing social media with a colleague the other day, and I made the point that many of the features in social media work in part because we expect them to.
Regardless of whether the matching formula in eHarmony works as well as advertised, it is more likely that you’ll meet your lifemate there than on many other sites. Why?First, because the population that goes to eHarmony self-selects. You go there to find a spouse. It seems more likely that the people there are open to serious relationships than, say, the people you meet at www.sluttyhookups.com (note that as of 11pm Pacific time, the domain is available – I’ll take it as an experiment to see how long before it’s claimed…), because the people who choose to go to eHarmony are looking for a wedding ring, not a night in the sack.
Second, because there is a ‘halo effect’ around the selections – if you believe that the people chosen for you are ‘potential mates’, you’re likely to be more open to connection and relationships than you would be with the person you met down at the Coffee Bean.
This isn’t a diss on the usefulness of eHarmony or other dating sites – we know four great couples that have met, married, and stuck starting there.
But it’s something to think about as you contemplate the impact of social media on people’s choices – whether for mates, for shopping, or for politicians.