Online Dating Stats Reveal A ‘Dataclysm’ Of Telling Trends
September 06, 2014
OkCupid co-founder Christian Rudder is a man obsessed with data. His dating site is known for gathering enormous amounts of information about users — the more questions you answer about yourself, the better the site’s algorithm can, in theory, find you a match.
Like other social sites, OkCupid keeps track of user data in order to make the site more effective. But, Rudder says, that information could also change the way we see ourselves.
It’s true that data isn’t everything, he says. “Look, there’s no way OkCupid, Facebook, Twitter, these sites even added all together can stand in for the entirety of the human condition,” Rudder tells NPR’s Arun Rath. “People do all kinds of things they don’t do online.”
But as more and more activities have some sort of online component, there’s an increasing amount of data accessible about our lives. Rudder collects some of that information in his book Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking). It’s full of charts and graphs that use aggregated online data to help explain everything from political beliefs to speech patterns — and, as Rudder tells Rath, even race relations.