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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Brown chapter.

Every year on February 6th, students across the country wait until midnight for the Datamatch survey to open. Beginning in 1994, Datamatch is a matchmaking service for college students consisting of a survey that students complete and then submit to the AlgorithmTM which is supposed to match you with your true love. At midnight on February 14th, each student receives their matches: ten people (sometimes fewer) who they are between 90-99% “matched” with as either friends or romantic partners. After receiving matches, you can view each other’s profiles and must mutually “like” each other in order to be able to chat.


Having never participated in Datamatch before, I had very low expectations. Sitting with my podmates, we were all eager for the survey to be released so that we could start answering questions and filling out our profiles. At midnight, the website opened for registration, but we were met with blank screens until about 1AM, at which point the survey was loaded successfully. The questions ranged from “what would you do if all the statues on campus came alive,” to “what is your love language,” and I found myself smiling at some of the answers. The questions were specific to Brown students, as you are only matched with people at your university unless you go to a select group of schools that have partnerships with other universities. After completing the survey you can fill out your profile, which is very similar to a Tinder or Bumble profile, and select options about your availability and preferred method of meeting (in person or over Zoom). Once the results are released, if you decide to go on a date with one of your top matches, students at some universities are eligible to get a free meal with their date. 


On February 14th, after about 2,300 Brown students signed up, the results were released. My podmates and I reviewed our matches via FaceTime, showing each other our matches one by one and voting if we should reach out to them. I am pretty picky when it comes to guys, so I wasn’t surprised to see that most of my matches weren’t people I was interested in. Given that Datamatch doesn’t input data about what you’re looking for in a partner or friend, I felt as though the matches weren’t based on much. My matches weren’t the people I’d typically go for and it’s very well that my matches didn’t like me either, as the people I pressed “match” on are still “pending” to this day. The most notable result of my Datamatch experience was getting matched with a student I had previously spoken to on Bumble before coming to campus, and who I had to block for reasons I will not get into here. Another thing I found interesting about the process is how I was matched with older students without being asked about my age preferences in the survey and profile-making process.


Speaking to my podmates about their experience, what I found amusing is that, combined they had a total of 4 matches that I wish I had been placed with. Datamatch does have a feature that allows you to search people you’re interested in and “match” with them if you mutually search each other and choose to match. While I could have used this feature to choose other people to match with, I feel as though this would only be useful if you knew each other and if there was a high chance that you would mutually search for each other and match. Nevertheless, it was entertaining to see what the hot guys from Instagram put on their Datamatch profiles. 


My friends had similar degrees of success with Datamatch. They all chose a few people to match with, but are either still left “pending” or had minimal conversations that haven’t progressed at this point. My neighbor expressed her frustration that some people filled out their profile with no profile picture or useful information, leaving her with nothing to go off of in the matching process. It left me thinking, why would you go through the sign-up process only to put minimal effort into your profile? 


Overall, I would definitely be curious to give Datamatch another try, as simply the act of filling out the survey and making my profile was fun for me. Waiting in anticipation for a week before receiving my results was exciting, even if the matches weren’t all I had hoped for. If you go into the Datamatch process just wanting to have fun and see what happens, participating in Datamatch is worth it to add some excitement to what can be a sad time for single people and a busy and cold month for all of us.