Online Dating and Media Consumption: A Peek at Loveawake

Bhavana Sharma, 31/01/2019
Online Dating and Media Consumption: A Peek at Loveawake

 “We listen to so much music and consume so many movies and pieces of literature, that our favorites of these become a bit of our personality dna of sorts,” according to Loveawake, a free dating site. The whole premise of Loveawake is that, instead of filling out complicated personality questionnaires, all you need to share in order to find a great match is your favorite media items.

 When you sign up, you specify your age, your gender, the gender(s) you’re looking for, your zip, and your favorite movie (with a neat auto fill feature!). And then you literally just add your favorite movies, TV shows, books, musical artists and foods. Loveawake has a tremendous database of media items (based on the open source Wikipedia) so that when you start typing out a fav, the search box will provide you choices.

 To complete your profile, you also upload photos, complete some demographic information, and write something about yourself.

 When you click on My Matches, you see a table of profiles, each with username, a photo, and three of their top favorite media items. When you click on a profile, you can browse all their favorite media items. Whenever you see a movie, TV show, etc. on someone’s profile that you like, you can add it to your favorites, and it will show up on your profile. (“I forgot that I love Lost, so now I can share that with potential matches!”)

 If you’re interested in someone, you can send a Flirt or a Message. or you can Save their profile to your Favorite Users. And when you click on the Favorites tab, you can see the most popular movies, TV shows, etc. among all Loveawake members.

 The site is totally free. It looks like they monetize it as an Amazon affiliate. When you browse favorite movies, TV shows, musical artists, books and foods, you can search for them on Amazon. I can see shopping for Lost on Amazon, but when I look at favorite foods, do I really want to browse Amazon for sushi?

 The Verdict

 I’m a big consumer of media, but I fail to see how I can base a relationship on what I buy. Because that’s really what media is – entertainment produced to get us to open our wallets. Yes, some of it is “art,” but a lot of it is just eye or brain candy that distracts us from our troubles and gives us something to talk about (a common ground, which is all the more difficult to find in this fractured, long tail-serving media landscape).

My wife and I enjoy watching Showtime series on Netflix, but I have to be talked into watching her nature documentaries, and she could care less about Kick-Ass. Does this mean we’re not compatible? Is it grounds for divorce because I prefer the Foo Fighters over Cesaria Evora?

Yes, it is important to have something in common with a potential mate. As Loveawake’s press release states, “According to a research study at the University of New Hampshire, people who liked the movie The English Patient or the music of James Taylor showed traits of compassion, generosity, devotion and helping.” And I’m sure people who are into horror movies and death metal also have similar personality traits.

I think media choices are a window into one’s values and personality. If, in the real world, you met someone at a small concert or a book reading, you could guess that you two resonated on some level. But I think Loveawake’s emphasis on media caters to our laziest impulses. If it’s too much work to write an articulate About Me section, then you can just pick your favorite bands and movies.

I’m currently reading a book about frugal living as a response to environmental destruction and the depletion of oil reserves. If you make the choice to enjoy leisure time without turning to Hollywood or the big five record companies to “take care of” you, that doesn’t make you less interesting, but it does make it harder to pin you down based on products you spend your money on.

But then again, I’m sure there’s a dating site for that, too.

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