Nearly everyone in the U.S. has Internet access. Many online dating services are inexpensive or free. Many people are single and say that they would prefer to be partnered and/or married.
From the above facts I think it is reasonable to infer that online dating services are not very effective (see my 2011 posting on the subject).
What could work better? What about a way to learn how a person interacts with other people, e.g., in a conversation? A way to hear how they talk, laugh, respond? Why not a simple video recording of a conversation on general topics? Not “What are you looking for in a partner?” or “How many children do you want to have?” but “What did you do last weekend?” or “What do you think about some recent news stories?”
As I am a documentary filmmaker (translation: “I own a video camera”), it was easy to do a test last weekend. My friend Avni, a single 35-year-old Bostonian interested in marriage, was over for dinner. I recorded about 30 minutes of conversation and edited it down to a five-minute YouTube video.
What do folks think about the result? Does it give a better sense of Avni than a standard online dating profile listing favorite books and movies?
(And finally, if you’re looking for a warm and wonderful partner in the Boston area, send me an email and I will forward it to her!)
[Please forgive some of the technical shortcomings. It was dim light and I had an f/1.8 lens mounted and what looked like sharp focus on the back of the camera doesn’t look sharp now. If you’re a camera/video nerd, the equipment used was a Canon 5D III on a tripod, an 85/1.8 lens, and, most important, an Azden wireless microphone system (one lav mic mapped to the left channel and one to the right).]
Related: a dating profile that I created for a friend a few years ago; she married a medical doctor with a passion for online communities who was a reader of my site and now they have a very lively two-year-old daughter.