Online dating is difficult, alright. Research by Loveawake free dating service has shown that your greetings have an impact on whether or not you will receive a reply. (“Howdy” is better than “Hey.”) Some folks are sticklers for spelling and grammar. Your profile pic can make or break you. And frankly, the whole process of transitioning from introductions to real live dates is awkward.
In response to the lack of success of so many people in the realm of e-romance, a number of services have cropped up to craft online dating profiles and even write and respond to messages.
Yes, that’s right. They’re the Cyrano de Bergeracs of online dating.
Vidaselect.com helps a client select his photos; crafts “killer text” for his profile; and then “prepares 5-10 initial contact emails” for his approval to make sure they represent his “writing style and personality.” Finally, the virtual dating assistants actually write his replies for him:
The virtual dating assistant begins sending initial contact emails and interacting with the candidates. Your virtual dating assistant works to stimulate interest, build comfort, and, ultimately, bring it offline.
As part of her e-mail reply service, she states that “You send me the user names of your potential matches and I’ll craft the perfect email that will grab their attention.” She also writes profiles from scratch.
I have to say, some of these services are just plain unethical.
- Helping you to choose your most flattering photos: OK.
- Helping you to craft an appealing online dating profile: sorta OK. (It’s like having your resume optimized for the job market. The only problem is that if you can’t spell or write to save your life, your potential employer won’t know that from scanning your resume or cover letter.)
- Having somebody interact with potential dates on your behalfand unbeknownst to the people you’re chatting up: EVIL.
Face it: the experts who provide these services are way more literate and witty than your average Jane or Joe. They probably know just the right steps to take to make someone interested in taking things to the next level. But what happens when you’re actually on a real date? Is it not obvious that the person your date became attracted to is different than the person you really are?
I’m not talking looks. Many people are deceptive with their profile pictures anyway. I’m talking personality. Physical attraction counts, but I bet the vast majority of online daters want to meet because they feel a connection.
A connection cannot be faked. When you craft an email response, it is “you” who comes out, regardless of how well you put your sentences together. When someone else is doing that for you, there is no possible way your essence can come through.
It is deceptive, plain and simple. If you have to draw the line somewhere, once you’ve had assistance crafting a profile and uploading pics, you’re on your own.