Online Dating: Proof that Big Data Lie….Kinda

Agree or not, online data is an example of Big Data; large databases that can reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions1. Users upload as multiple forms of data including text, images, videos, and location for the specific purpose of having it analyzed by multiple prospective partners. Once uploaded and released to public view, online dating applications use algorithms to maximize exposure of users to each others profiles. We now have access to abundant and diverse information about a prospective partner. This begs the question, do online dating sites offer enough information to accurately evaluate prospective partners? As veteran users of these sites can attest, the answer is an emphatic NO! How and why can the “data” that we observe on these sites be so misleading? This is the subject of the first essay in my upcoming series on positive and negative effects of Big Data in our daily lives. My first essay will discuss how people with mental illness can easily manipulate prospective partners using their dating profiles and communication applications.

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