Online Dating


Emily Witt in the LRB:

This service is called OK Cupid Locals. An OK Cupid Locals invitation has to start with the word ‘Let’s’:

Let’s smoke a joint and hang out ☺

Let’s grab a brunch, lunch, beer or some such for some friendly Saturday revelry.

Let’s get a drink after Koyaanisqatsi at the Castro.

Let’s meet and tickle.

Let’s enjoy a cookie.

Let’s become friends and explore somewhere.

‘Let’s go now you and I’ always comes into my mind, but I’ve never broadcast an OK Cupid chat signal, I just respond. That night I scrolled until I found a handsome man who had written a benign invitation: ‘Let’s get a drink.’ I looked at his profile. He was Brazilian. I speak Portuguese. He played the drums. ‘Tattoos are a big part of my friends’ and family’s life,’ he wrote. Every era has its own utopian possibilities: ours is the chance to make our lives more bearable through technology.

The man generally held responsible for internet dating as we know it today is a native of Illinois called Gary Kremen, but Kremen was out of the internet dating business altogether by 1997, just around the time people were signing up for the internet en masse. Today he runs a solar energy financing company, is an elected official in Los Altos Hills, California and is better known for his protracted legal battle over the ownership of the pornography website than he is for inventing internet dating.