Internet dating young professionals
But what I found most off-putting about Sparkology’s version of online dating was the constant assertion that the men on the site were “real gentlemen” of a higher quality than other dating sites (wording taken from the Sparkology FAQ page)—and that, because they’re paying to talk to you, they therefore deserve increased attention and consideration, even though you’re paying to be on the site too.There’s something deeply icky about pushing women to feel indebted to men they’ve never met, the virtual equivalent of feeling pressure to converse with a stranger because he decided to buy you a drink.The Face-to-Face experience: As an IJL client, we guarantee you will go out on dates. What happens: Once staff members find a good match, they'll tell you about your date, coordinate your schedules, and select a nice spot for lunch or drinks. A dating service is trying to revolutionize the blind date. Because that’s the only way to tell if there’s chemistry. Our IJL certified matchmakers create a dating experience personalized just for you. Date, time, where you go." "It plans everything, down to when and where you meet.This led to the site’s requirement that all members be college-educated young professionals, and for men to have received their degrees from a list of select schools.Some have called Sparkology elitist, but its exclusivity is dubious: It currently allows alumni of 1,558 colleges to join. The website’s faddish celebration of social science disguises a service characterized by outdated attitudes regarding dating and gender norms.(The site also has the annoying habit of pricing its plans for female members in the equivalent of cocktails: Women can join for six months at twenty-five dollars per month—a mere one and two-thirds cocktails!)The idea that a website can cull together the finest single men the internet has to offer by requiring a degree from one of 1,558 schools and charging a fee per message is absurd—yet the resounding message to women on the site is how lucky they should feel to receive messages from such ideal potential matches.
That system, however, has created a certain entitlement among male users—as though you owe them a reply, since they spent to send you a message. When a man sends you a message, Sparkology will email you the following: “Remember, he used one of his limited and pricey Sparks to send this special message specifically to you.Alex Furmansky, Sparkology’s founder and himself a Penn graduate, told Mashable that “Sparkology’s pool of men is like day and night compared to ” Furmansky’s vision is shaped by a college experience where he noticed the loudest, most obnoxious guys at the bar routinely got all the girls, and the idea that most dating sites effectively reproduce an online version of that bar scene.Instead, he’s trying to create an approach to dating where “the guy with the wine and flowers wins.” Furmansky built this ethos into the site’s mission statement: “Sparkology is for all the wonderful men women can’t be trusted to handpick at a bar.” In such an environment, it’s not difficult to see why nice guy syndrome runs rampant on the site.Sparkology also said its team worked with professors at “major universities” to develop a behavioral algorithm that helps users find their match based on their actions.They found that women who are part of this vaguely-defined demographic want to connect with ambitious men who graduated from prestigious schools and that men want women to be educated, but don’t really care about where.