Friday, July 22, 2005

Hooking Up - Where's the technology?

Although the recent ABC online dating reality show ("Hooking Up") is an addictive guilty pleasure, it has little to do with online dating as I've studied it for the past three years. As pointed out in WiRed (and elsewhere, no doubt), the technology that underpins these encounters is largely absent. A glimpse of an email here, a pixelated photo there, but very little of the CMC leading up to the dates is present. This is a real loss, as without it this show is much like"Blind Date" -- but with a updated hook for 2005. I guess it is the nature of the beast, as watching people type email in their jammies does not make for very exciting television. And watching relationships develop, then deteriorate, from afar satisfies the busybody in all of us.

I would have liked to see a wider range of participants and perhaps a glipse of online dating as it is practiced outside of New York City. However, I am curious to see, in the end, how this show affects the ways in which the average American perceives online dating.

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