This morning, I get an email from the dating site entitled, “Hey, you’re hot!”
Since good manners compel me to open almost every email addressed to me (except where Viagra or large sums of money are mentioned), of course I click to open.
“Congratulations!” it trumpets. “We just detected that you’re now among the most attractive people on the site! We learned this from clicks to your profile and the number of 5-star ratings you’ve received.”
Now, it’s true that I’ve received a large number of 5-star ratings – I know because they send you an email each time it happens, to fluff up your fragile ego and to keep you interested in visiting the site. I get one or two a day. But what their cleverly configured algorithms can’t see is that most of the voters look like my dad.
“To celebrate,” it continues, “we’ve adjusted your online experience: you’ll see more attractive people in your match results.”
Now hang on a minute, does this mean that up til now, they’ve been sending me the griswalds and the munters? And now I’ve joined some sort of élite club, I’ll be presented with celestial specimens of manhood, comprised solely of Johnny-Depp-alikes?
“This won’t affect your match percentages, which are still based purely on your answers and desired match’s answers. But we’ll recommend more attractive people to you. You’ll also appear more often to other attractive people.”
I consider this for a moment. And I ponder the million dollar question: attractive to whom?
I’m well aware that I have pretty quirky taste when it comes to men, so the simple fact that lots of ladies have rated these fellas 5-star probably doesn’t mean that much. And anyway, you can be as hot as you like, but if your main interests are beer, football and fags, we’re probably not going to get along.
Of course, the cynical part of me (probably the part that works in marketing) thinks that this is almost certainly an email they send to everyone, once they’ve been online for a certain amount of time.
Just as your interest starts to wane slightly, you’ve not had any hot dates and you’re not visiting the site quite so keenly, they send you a little tidbit to buck you up and convince you that Prince Extra-Charming is just around the corner.
And, says cynical, cynical me, they need us hapless singletons to keep visiting, to keep numbers up and entice newbies, which in turn keeps their visitor figures up, maintains the price of advertising on their site and keeps the pennies rolling in.
Of course, cynicism aside, it might just be that I’m genuinely hot. So I decide to dress as if I might be hot – rather than as if I’d just rolled out of bed – and see if it makes any difference.
The sexy barista in the coffee shop flirts quietly with me, but to be honest, that happens pretty much every day. And a pensioner holds open the door for me. But I’m not sure that counts.
Although I’m not exactly devastating the menfolk of my town, I decide to believe that I am hot. It’s just a very muted kind of hot. Not so much scorching, as sedately sizzling. Like a sausage.
A slightly sausagey sizzle. Hmmmm, yes. That’s me. And who could be displeased by that?