The researchers expected the anonymity feature to lower social inhibitions -- and apparently it did.
This was especially true for female users: those with anonymous browsing wound up with an average of 14% fewer matches. Women don’t like to send personal messages to initiate contact, explains Jui Ramaprasad, an assistant professor of information systems at Mc Gill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management.
Big data and the growing popularity of online dating sites may be reshaping a fundamental human activity: finding a mate, or at least a date.
Yet a new study in Management Science finds that certain longstanding social norms persist, even online.
In other words, she says, “We still see that women don’t make the first move.” Instead, they tend to send what the researchers call a “weak signal.”“Weak signaling is the ability to visit, or ‘check out,’ a potential mate’s profile so the potential mate knows the focal user visited,” according to the study.
“The offline ‘flirting’ equivalents, at best, would be a suggestive look or a preening bodily gesture such as a hair toss to one side or an over-the-shoulder glance, each subject to myriad interpretations and possible misinterpretations contingent on the perceptiveness of the players involved.
To study this theory’s efficacy, the site granted micro-level access to user data—who viewed whom, and when—to Bapna, Umyarov and their fellow researchers.“In this particular case, it’s actually women leaving a little trail. Join THOUSANDS of our Sober Singles and find Sober Dates at the ORIGINAL Online 12 Step Dating Site for Alcoholics Anonymous Singles, Narcotics Anonymous Singles and ALL Single Sober Adults in every 12 Step Program of Recovery. Meet Single Sober Men and Women locally or around the Globe for Sober Dates, Love or Friends.Much less ambiguity exists in the online environment if the focal user views another user’s profile and leaves a visible train in his ‘Recent Visitors’ list.”Men often take the cue. Instead, you ask your friends, or theirs, for further insight or help setting up a date.