Pick up artists beware

I’m sure no one would be surprised to hear that I find so-called professional pick up artists and schools for picking up women pretty damn lame.
They occasionally make the news and raise a debate about the morality, as well as the effectiveness, of their method. I’ve been following the latest case, in Israel, where a forum post from 2006 has been causing quite a stir.

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Online dating safety: are we doing enough?

A new report published in the UK, has shown that most British Internet users do not trust online services, but use them anyway because they believe the benefits outweigh the risks. Add that to the fact that many UK users are simply not safety aware and it’s no surprise that people keep getting scammed. Are dating sites doing enough to ensure their users’ online dating safety?

Many dating sites employ moderators to weed out the scammers, but that is not always enough to stop all of them from getting through. Nasty, unethical sites lull their users into a false sense of security, but really what we need is some serious online dating safety education.

How much information is available on your site to educate people about potential dangers? Is it available somewhere obvious, or is it hidden somewhere at the back of the site? The potential existence of scammers on the site is not something any site owner would like to talk about, but really, it’s something that has to be done as part of our responsibility to our customers. Like everything else that is not a positive feature, it should be handled delicately, but it should definitely be handled, rather than swept under the carpet.

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Online communication and false intimacy

I came across an interesting article today about the way mobile text conversations and online interaction supposedly affect teenagers’ views on relationships. By “interesting” I don’t actually mean intelligent and well thought-out, unfortunately.

Here’s an example:

Professor Doreen Rosenthal said mobiles and the internet had created an accelerating intimacy between adolescents, with many making relationship decisions more swiftly than previous generations. Electronic communication tended to shrink the time span in which friendships developed, leaving teenagers more exposed to risky decision-making.

The article seems to suggest that, as a result, teenagers get a “false sense of intimacy” and tend to sleep with each other faster than they otherwise would:

“For many teenagers, this acceleration of intimacy is occurring without the usual checks and balances of face-to-face contact. It’s a pseudo-intimacy. You don’t create genuine intimacy through these mediums.

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More about compatibility testing

Following on from my earlier post, I just came across an interesting discussion on reddit talking about personality testing, horoscopes, etc.. I think it illustrates my points quite well. Here is what someone got as his profile, without actually answering any questions: You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and […]

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Sex Sex Sex

So the market is levelling out in the US, what are you gonna do about it? Apparently, you go back to the very roots of marketing and talk about sex sex and more sex. So first we had the whole female orgasm brainscan email thing from chemistry.com, then lavalife decided to go even further and […]

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The problem with compatibility testing

Money TrapThere’s been a lot of talk on the industry sites recently about personality testing and matching on various dating sites and whether or not they work. For people who run dating sites, personality tests provide that little bit extra they can offer their customers to get them to choose you over others. In the US, where the online dating market is now leveling out, there is obviously a need to provide extra services and to create the impression that there is a real need and a real demand for such services. America is a country where marriage is now seen almost as a business transaction. There’s even books out there that tell women to leave a man unless he’s proposed within a set duration of time. It’s all about “sealing the deal”. It’s also a society in which people are taught to expect a lot more for their money and, as a result, take a lot less responsibility for their own welfare. The proliferation of fast, processed food is one example of this, as well as the fact that people have actually won lawsuits for having their coffee served too hot. It doesn’t take marketing rocket science to see how simple it would be in an environment like that to create a market for a service that offers to do some of the “hard work” for you and save you time, so you can get back to your “busy life” (cause none of us want to admit our “busy lives” are so empty, we spend most of our free time trying to pick up people online).

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