In this Jezebel article, they discuss an article by AdAge writer Julie Ruvolo, in which she calls online dating an “anti-social network” because members choose their own user names instead of being forced to use their real name like they do on Facebook.
Instead of connecting with people you know, you set up a username to mask your identity, hope no one you know sees you, and spend the whole time filtering. Age. Location. Income. […]
Otherwise sensible filtering criteria, like who you know in common, is not possible in a world of usernames, so you’re left with “10 miles from 10005” and mysterious matchmaking algorithms.
Usernames are why dating sites can’t grow on their own, like social networks. They have to grow in spite of themselves. By advertising!
They go on to note that although she might be right, there are more risks associated with online dating when you take into account how many people you don’t know that have access to your profile, as compared to say, how many people you’d see in a bar at any one time. This, of course, could be a gateway for more stalking and abuse if your real name was plastered on your profile.
What do you think? Would you use online dating if it was constructed more like a social network, where your real name was used and you could be linked by friends? Or would you rather keep some of anonymity?