Weird the Normal: Match-making in Online Dating/ Friend-Making
As people increasingly rely on internet to establish and manage their social networks with efficiency, online dating and general friend-making has become an ordinary mechanism to expand the social network beyond limits of locality and daily routines between home and office/ schools. For the sake of efficiency under various demands of individuals, social media platforms developed systems and algorithms to categorize users for accurate match-making. By providing personal information and interests on online social platforms, a person creates a virtual profile for match-making mechanisms and their potential friends to evaluate his/her personality.
However, there are certain unavoidable problems among the pervasive match-making systems which people often encounter but can only accept. On the one hand, the descriptive virtual profiles can hardly convey complete information regarding people’s real beings regardless of how detailed the information are provided. On the other hand, people may not necessarily know themselves as much as they think of, which may cause biases in their creation of profiles, thus result in mismatching. Furthermore, people often spend too much time on their ‘wrong another’ in online dating before realizing that they are not each other’s types. Although efficiency is one of the core values of online social life, these problems that cause inefficiency are so pervasive and they gradually become norms.
To de-normalize the current paradigm of online match-making and develop social life toward the ultimate aim of efficiency, a future dating or friend-making platform may create comprehensive and interactive virtual copies of users by artificial intelligence. A comprehensive virtual copy can access to the user’s deep mind by scanning brain waves and personal data recorded by various digital technology (people in the near future may hardly have any real privacy under digital surveillance). After acquiring the personality of a user, the virtual copy can work 24/7 to mingle with millions of other users (most likely other virtual copies) and provide comprehensive feedbacks to the user, recommend people to meet, and be in charge as a temporary substitute when the user is temporarily not available to talk. With these future virtual copies in online social life, people will enjoy more efficient and accurate pair-matching, but at the same time may fade away from their own social life and create a dystopian society where people and their physical life lose vitality against their virtual copies.