By Gini Chang
The most fascinating thing about online dating sites is that a good portion of the users are either uninterested in finding partners and on the site to mess with other users, or computer programs that are masquerading as a human being. If you have yet to encounter a chatbot on the Internet, congratulations on being one of the lucky few who have been spared. Bots are now a part of about 60% of all Internet traffic, which includes dating sites. These computer programs create profiles on Tinder or OKCupid with fake pictures and try to strike up genuine human conversations in order to get the real users to give up credit card numbers or other private information.
Even if you’re lucky enough to get a real person to match with you on these dating sites, however, chances are your match is just someone taking advantage of the fact that about 15% of American adults use online dating sites. Recently, it’s been found that 1/3 of dating site users have never actually gone on a date with any of the users they met online. There are just too many people who aren’t actually taking dating sites seriously. For example, Scotsman Tom Court recently went on Grindr-a hook up mobile app for gay and bisexual men- to survey users in and around Edinburgh about their opinion on the EU Referendum.
And ironically enough, while spamming Grindr users with his polling, Court also came upon some bots. It seems as if there’s no escape from falsehood when it comes to online dating.
Sonia Cordoves’ play, Reality Sucks, is the lament of good, honest, dating site users who just want to find the perfect match that is somewhere out there. The problems that her characters encounter when they try to meet up with their date for the first time are real, genuine problems faced by dating site users all over the world.
Do you have a fun Tinder story? Ever outsmarted a bot before? Have an opinion on Brexit that you’d like to share? Comment below or tweet us @RiantTheatre. And be sure to come see Sonia Cordoves’ characters meet in person for the first time ever in Reality Sucks to find out how their date goes. Reality Sucks will be playing in the Strawberry One Act Festival on Saturday, July 16th at 1pm; Monday, July 18th at 7pm; and Thursday, July 21st at 9pm in the Theatre at St. Clement’s, 423 West 46th St, NYC.