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Review: Data, A Love Story

January 23, 2013

Title: Data, A Love Story: How I Gamed Online Dating to Meet My Match
Author: Amy Webb
Publisher: Dutton
Release: January 31, 2013
Format: eBook from Publisher

Forty million people date online each year. Most don’t find true love. Thanks to Data, a Love Story, their odds just got a whole lot better.

Data, A Love Story: How I Gamed Online Dating to Meet My Match is a lively, thought-provoking memoir about how one woman “gamed” the world of online dating—and met her eventual husband.—via Goodreads

I met my boyfriend online.

When people are skeptical or amazed by this (especially my friends who do date online and haven’t had much luck) I tell them that online dating is easy. The hard part is being completely honest about a) who you are, and b) what you want out of online dating.

So when I heard about Data, A Love Story I was immediately intrigued. Partly because I like funny lady memoirs, partly because I’m always into people who are smart enough to game things—especially Internety things, because that requires a much higher level of math than my brain can fathom—and partly because I wanted to know how Webb was successful with online dating, since I’ve also been successful with it.

All in all, Webb’s book is a really great read: honest, funny, sad at times, and really really smart. However—the way Webb went about “gaming” online dating included making 10 male profiles and email addresses so she could scope out her female competition. Which is, you know, a little creepy, but fine. It’s fine. And then she conversed with other women on the site as a guy for “research” which bordered on Catfish for me.

I mean, it never went into “I want to be with you forever but I refuse to meet you” territory—when she was pretending to be a guy she was never ever ever saying things that would lead anyone on—but still. There’s something a little creeptastic about pretending to be not only one—but ten—different men when you are a woman. The up side to it was that Webb’s brain was doing incredible math aerobics while she collected data on not only what other women’s profiles were like, but HOW they went about conversing with men. She made word clouds, charts, graphs, spreadsheets, and things more complicated than that that caused my head to hurt just looking at them.

It’s really intense.

Overall, this is a fun read about a woman who refused to settle for someone who did not meet every piece of criteria she wanted in a husband. Luckily, she gamed online dating and in this book basically tells you how you too can do it. If you so choose. But more than that, I think every woman who reads this will identify with Amy’s frustrations and concerns and will celebrate Amy’s triumphs right along with her.

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