One day, when I was looking up some stuff about dating sites (because you all keep telling me you’re loving my misery and that I should keep writing about it), I came across a webpage that ranked sites. Zoosk was rated #1, so I created an account.
It seems I need to demand to see criteria before I let someone else pick a #1.
Zoosk prides itself on not asking you to fill out all the info that other sites do–they’re looking at you, OKCupid.
1. This is not advantageous for me. I’m treated to the following information on a profile–where a guy is, maybe a pic, his age, maybe a handle, whether he smokes or not, his educational status, breeding status, and a couple of other details.
There is a space to write more, but it seems that almost no one does. (I do, of course.)
Zoosk is also trying to be like Tinder–its Tinder feature is called carousel.
When you “play” the carousel (yes, the metaphor breaks down here), you’re shown a picture, told how old the person is, and the total number of pictures the person has uploaded. You are then asked to say whether you’d like to meet this person or not.
Nothing on where this person is, whether he smokes, whether he’s actually married . . .
You can play this game for free, but to send a message or receive a message, you have to be a paying member.
2. They also allow you to pay more to tell you if someone has read your message or to send these absolutely inane “gifts”–they want you to pay to send a picture of a cartoon rose to someone. The site tells you you’ll stand out this way. Yes–as a sucker.
3. The site also encourages chatting over messaging, encouraging you to “chat now.” If you like someone, it sends a “chat” request to that person. It also knows that most guys won’t write a message, so it has not only a “wink” option, but prompted me to create an “automatic” wink response–in other words, since a wink is stupid yet frequent, it creates a way for us to auto answer.
Guys who “wink” at me get a thank you message that says I’d like an actual message–I prompt them to tell me about where they’d most like to go on vacation. Most guys only ever send the wink.
And most guys suck at both chatting and messaging.
An example of some poor guy I flummoxed with my strange desire for communication. He sent me a couple of “how was your day” messages. Yawn, but I’m polite, so I would answer “busy” or some such information. He then asked me out.
Me: I like to know that I have something in common with someone before I agree to a date. You haven’t really said much about yourself.
[A full week passes.]
Him: Well how will you know unless you meet them ?
Me: Most guys write me messages–they tell me a little bit about themselves and their interests, and they ask me a couple of questions.
[5 days pass]:
Him: Well I’m 52 father of 5 young adults and grandfather of 7 grandchildren. I’ve been in the construction industry for 32 yrs now. I like kayaking, camping, BBQ’ING, frizz bee golf, day trips, listening to live music, or just relaxing at home.
Why couldn’t he have put that on his profile?
4. On this site, I have the same info up as on my OKCupid profile (well, almost; see below). And guys are paying to be on here; however, I get more guys who are smokers, more guys who have only graduated from high school, more guys who do not speak English. I’m not talking about bad grammar; I’m talking about guys who write to me and say, “Hello beautiful ablas español??
Me: I took Spanish in high school–enough to want to put the “H” on “Hablas.”
There’s also the problem of distance. I don’t play the carousel, but I will look at the profiles of people who “like” me there. If I “like” them back based on their pic, I can then enjoy finding out they live in Toronto.
5. If you’re not playing the carousel, and doing a more directed search, Zoosk’s system likes to reset to have you look at people hundreds of miles away.
I think it’s their way of fooling you into thinking you have good options on this site.
6. They have bots on here–fake people. I think the way to tell is that the bots have attractive pictures–taken by someone who knows what they’re doing, as opposed to the bathroom selfie and driving selfie so popular now.
7. I’ve read some articles claiming that Zoosk keeps your pic and info and will make you into a bot after you leave their stupid site. (I’m about to take all my stuff down.)
8. I’ve also seen Zoosk claim that they match you based on what they learn about you. There isn’t a place to do any kind of actual psychological stuff, but they have asked me some questions. Sometimes they show me someone I’ve talked to and ask if I will/want to meet them in person. I’m disturbed by the fact that they don’t ask “why”–does it matter that I don’t want to meet the person because he’s a smoker, because he lives in Oregon, because he was rude to me?
Zoosk had me take a ridiculous survey once–so ridiculous that I didn’t finish it. It asked if celebrity break ups made me despair about my own relationships lasting, which celebs I would most like to see in my carousel, and which celeb couples I think are mostly likely to stay together.
Your’e really doing your homework, Zoosk.
Zoosk has asked me if I’ll “only date other single parents.”
9. Which brings us to another problem.
On OKCupid, one of my basic facts is “has a kid, but doesn’t want more”–this is in a column beside my paragraphs about myself, in which I explain that I have a 22 year old. Now, many guys might see “has a kid” and not read the explanation, but Zoosk gives even fewer options for clarification.
On Zoosk, the only truthful option I have is “has children, at home.” This is right under my picture. To see my paragraphs about having an adult who lives at home, you have to scroll down to an entirely different page.
Most of the guys who message me, not surprisingly, have children, though the kids are young, as is normal for parents my age.
In other words, I get messaged by guys who assume I have young children, like they do. Guys who wouldn’t message a woman with young children probably automatically count me out, since the site makes it seem like I have little ones instead of an adult.
10. As usual, I try to narrow the catch in my net–I’m looking for quality over quantity, after all.
A few weeks ago, I made changes to both my Zoosk and my OKCupid profile, noting that I don’t hang out on the site to chat, but that “I answer basically every message I get, as long as it’s a real message–not just a ‘hi’ or ‘good morning.'” I also say, by my statement of not wanting a long distance relationship, that if a guy is a long or difficult drive away, that I’m not interested. OKCupid had no problem with this.
Zoosk sent me a message that my profile was approved, with some minor changes. It said they only changed something when the user was giving away personal details (address, etc). I went to my profile to see what they changed. Apparently, deleting both of the new statements in their entirety is “minor.” Fuming, I wrote to the tech guys and asked how my statements endangered my safety.
I got a message back about how they changed their mind and reinstated my changes.
Based on my awful time on this site, I can only imagine that they tried to fool me for one reason. They don’t want me to say anything that narrows the pool. They’re showing my picture to guys who are 3000 miles away and asking the guys if they’d like to meet me. They don’t want me to admit that I don’t chat or that it takes more than a wink to talk to me. They certainly don’t want me saying that San Jose is too far, even though it’s a two hour drive.
They want me to pay for their poor selection of men, while making it harder to attract them, and simultaneously charging me for misleading and poor service.
Zoosk, the only thing you’ve been number 1 at is frustration.