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“There’s no good reason the men would act like that,” he said. There’s the space between Cameron Diaz’s legs and mine; that one’s easy to spot; everyone loves to talk about Unreasonable Expectations of Female Beauty. There’s the gap between what date number three was like online and in person.

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Zadie Smith has written about this with regard to Facebook, pleading, at one point in her review of David Fincher’s film , for people to “step back from your Facebook Wall for a moment. Most of the stories people tell about online dating tend to be horror stories, and even if they aren’t that horrible, they’re told with a kind of droll terror.

(I’ve heard grown women seriously debate whether to go on a date with a man who posted a photo of a cat dressed in a Broncos jersey.) Of course, this kind of judgment can be an anticipatory defence against being found wanting yourself; there is the fear that the idea of you will not be enough, that you couldn’t even attract someone when you were operating in the abstract. What they do criticise is the general tone of Ok Cupid, the way in which everyone sounds like a culture snob; the site under-represents reality because people, in their profiles, over-represent a carefully selected list of likes and dislikes, as precise as a character’s tastes in a Haruki Murakami novel.

But in general I didn’t experience any egregious misrepresentation; at least, no more than the relentless hyping of one’s life on Facebook.

Such a complaint really indicates a more general gap between your online and “real” worlds. She quotes Jaron Lanier’s book , in which he suggests that “different software embeds different philosophies, and these philosophies become ubiquitous, become invisible”.

Javier Bardem is sitting in the driver’s seat, taking in the show.

There was something great about how embarrassing this was; it was supposed to be sexy, but it was like watching a snake eat a mouse.

That the only place I can see a visible pulse in my body is a tiny dimple of skin just below my ankle bone. In other words, out of fear and reason, I reined in my romanticism.

I figured that the difference between a profile and a person was so naturally large there was no real way you could dismiss the latter based on the former.

Part of the continuing shame in online dating seems to come from the notion that you, in person, are not enough; that you need to create an idea of yourself to get anywhere with anyone else. Smith worries because she can sense the final turn of the screw.

Compounding this gap is that social-media platforms usually involve some kind of reduction of self-hood; not only do we construct an idea of our self, it’s an impoverished one. If information systems, as Lanier suggests, “under-represent reality”, might we come to consider that level of information sufficient knowledge of the self? In general, people love to bitch about Ok Cupid; it’s one way of dealing with the social anxiety of being on the site.

I had also misspelled my moniker and couldn’t change it without paying money, so was stuck with Vivan Rutledge. He was currently working as a systems specialist for a lighting design company. As I cycled home afterwards, over the Manhattan Bridge, it was surprisingly cold. He was moving to Brooklyn from Hoboken, and looking at apartments in my neighborhood. I had the superstitious delicacy that comes with the things you either want or are afraid you will not get. In one of his profile photos, he had a full-face temporary moko. That this was the default, though, says something about how Ok Cupid works. I knew about dating’s symbolic capital: about collecting and trading and returning digits, Valentines cards, football jackets, or golden hearts (half-hearted or whole) hung on golden chains. Even if I had not experienced any of this for myself before I moved to New York, I had the guilelessness of a tourist; I expected that living in New York, I would be subject to these ideals’ effect, even if I didn’t subscribe to them.

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