Monday, March 12, 2012

What Do Online Profiles Reveal About Us?

Have you ever tried online dating? If you've been single in the past decade, the answer is probably yes. According to recent surveys, about 20% of couples who have recently become couples met online. Yours truly, Chad Stone, included.

R. Luke DuBois, who describes himself as a New York City-based "artist and computer programmer," wondered what our online profiles reveal about us. He analyzed profiles from 21 top dating sites and broke them into individual zip codes. Then he determined where certain words appeared more often than anywhere else.

Fascinating idea, huh?

Some of the results were fairly predicatable. The words "acting" and "vegetarian" appeared most often in Southern California. "Gay" and "grass" were popular words used in Northern California online profiles. "Mullet" was used most often in Alabama, as was "prayer." "Sox" (as in Red Sox) topped the list in the Boston area. "Casino" and "cathouse" and "gambling" were commonly used in Nevada's online profiles.

But then there were plenty of surprising and/or bizarre results in Mr. DuBois's statistics. "Marshmallow" was a popular word in Iowa-- hopefully not to describe people's bodies. "Curvy" was the big word in Louisiana, and that WAS probably used to describe female bodies. "Wet," "hard," "cougar," and "picky" were all popular in Washington State, but probably not in the same sentence. "Gal" was a popular word used to describe women in North Dakota. (I didn't know anyone still used that word.) And singles in Texas used the word "bust" more than anywhere else.

So, what can we learn from these results? Maybe that the USA is an enormous country that is far from being homogenous. Regional differences still rule-- and I think that's a very good thing.

But no matter where you are single in America, you're in good company. We're all looking for "love."

NOTE: Check back next week for info about my upcoming book, Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet by Chad Stone!

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