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DataMatch: Searching for Love (or a Waffle)

Datamatch is a self-declared “free matchmaking service for the students and alumni of Harvard University created by the Harvard Computer Society in 1994. It is primarily meant to be humorous and casual, but many users have formed lasting relationships through participating.”

This year the creators of DataMatch approached Professor Steven Pinker, instructor for the popular introductory course on psychology, Psychological Science, for his feedback on how to improve the quiz. Pinker says he happily “gave them [his] informal reactions to some of their ideas” because he considers it part of his job to “meet with any Harvard student to react to their ideas on any subject”.

With an added legitimacy stemming from affiliation with Professor Pinker, I decided to ask a sample of Harvard Freshman why they were participating in this year’s Datamatch.

 

Alina ‘19

Did you take the DataMatch survey?

Yes I did.

 

What’s your relationship status?

Single, so I can ask this question now. Will you be Mein?

Yes.

Actually I’m in a relationship with life but that’s okay.

 

Did you talk to anyone about DataMatch before or while filling out the survey?

I did not speak to anyone while filling out the survey. I did take a Snapchat of one of the answers and sent it to someone because it was something I’d totally do.

 

What did you think of the questions?

I think that they were fun and very um…I learned what Grindr was. I didn’t know what any of the tv shows were, in all honesty. I looked up Grinder and I was like hmm the show The Grinder is the guy who fakes his way through life and then suddenly becomes successful. And that’s me. And then I realized it was a version of Tinder for people who identify as LQBTQ and I was like “great.”

 

Do you trust the algorithm to give you matches that you are compatible with?

We’ll see.

 

What and where would your idea blind date be?

It’d be in somewhere where the Mafia could find us. And then we’d sort of – imagine Fast and Furious 5. We’d drive away in a car and speed race away. Maybe in Dubai. I feel like that’s the perfect place to speed race away from police and gangsters and Mafia people. It’d have to be some high rise building in Dubai where we’d parachute off of the top floor, land, run to our lamborghini, and then speed away through the desert. That type of stuff.

 

What are you looking for from DataMatch?

I’m looking for someone to be so compatible that I get free waffles.

 

Trevor Noon ‘19

Did you take the DataMatch survey?

Yes.

 

What’s your relationship status?

In a relationship.

 

What made you decide to try DataMatch?

I got the e-mail and it seemed like a neat, fun idea. Although I didn’t have much use for it, practically, since I’m more than happy in my current relationship. My roommate is part of HCS and bugged me to try it but I really wasn’t going to. My significant other mentioned it, we talked about it, and realized that we might as well just fill it out to get the free waffle and a few laughs. We decided that we were confident enough in our relationship that we would give it a go.

 

Sabrina Yates ‘19

Did you take the DataMatch survey?

Yes.

 

What’s your relationship status?

Single and ready to mingle.

 

Did you talk to anyone about Datamatch before or while filling out the survey?

Before, I heard about the free waffles and that it’s really fun! I didn’t talk to anyone during the survey. Afterwards I told my friends at other schools about how weird and funny it is.

 

Do you trust the algorithm to give you matches that you are compatible with?

Not really, I think it is a fun experiment but I doubt it will be accurate.

 

Devon Black ‘19

Did you take the DataMatch survey?

Yes.

 

What’s your relationship status?

Single.

 

Do you trust the algorithm to give you matches that you are compatible with?

Haha. No.

 

So what are you looking for from the Datamatch?

Something fun to do, whether the weird questions match me with someone I actually have anything in common with.

 

When you filled out the survey did know that if you and your top choice both choose to, you can get free waffles together at Zinneken’s?

What? No. This is amazing. Zinneken’s is my lifeblood.

 

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Audrey Thorne

Harvard '19

Audrey is a Senior in Pforzheimer house. She likes writing, adventure, Tatte, and doing things ironically it's no longer ironic. She's also Co-Campus Coordinator of the Her Campus Harvard branch.
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