At noon the following day - i.e. Thursday, October 15, 2009, I checked into my Match account.
On the front page of My Match, there is a counter that shows how many people who have viewed my profile. In less than twelve hours of going live, I had over 350 people who had clicked on my profile. In my inbox, I had approximately 50 email messages and close to 50 winks. I noticed that not all people who sent winks sent an email and not all people who sent emails sent winks. In addition, there were people who flagged that they were interested - i.e. I was selected for them as a potential match and they indicated that they would be interested. On top of all of that, in my inbox was a Match email with a customized list of profiles and the percentage of criteria that was matched. It included profiles where we matched 100% to profiles where there was an 85% match. For these selections, I could indicate my interest by flagging the profile accordingly. In addition, there is a section called "MyDaily 5" - a list of 5 profiles that would generate daily based on my categorization of yes, no, and maybe.
I was overwhelmed but really excited.
I read through all the emails first and reviewed each profile. I instantly indicated no interest for men of any age with children. Men with no undergraduate degree or some college were also rejected. The great part was that I didn't need to send a personal email. I simply selected no interest and the appropriate drop down response "thanks for your interest but we are not a match" and it was automatically sent. I systematically deleted profiles after I rejected them and continued through.
Because of all the stories of married men and people with something to hide on Match, I outright rejected people who did not have profile pictures. I received a number of emails from anonymous profiles that basically tried to tempt me to respond by promising their pictures as bait. I didn't waste my time and rejected those immediately. Be wary of the clean cut psychologist from Philadelphia who travels to the metropolitan area often and doesn't want to post his pictures but will send them to you once you agree to meet in person. Can we say suspicious? Creepy? Extramarital affair? Dishonest?
Another criteria that I used to eliminate people from consideration? I always assess people's description of their physical build against their actual pictures. It is amazing what you can learn about people just from how they view themselves. For example, there were quite a few instances where men described themselves as athletic and toned when their pictures reflected at least an extra 50 pounds. I selected the no interest response and hit the delete key when it was obvious that the person was both in denial and disillusioned. Who wants to date a person who has a poor handle on his self image or thinks that I wouldn't notice the discrepancy between the pictures and the description?
I read a plethora of profiles and discovered a variety of people. It turns out with the email solicitations that these are guys who may or may not meet your criteria but will try to get your attention anyway. The prize for the cheesiest and most unoriginal pickup line goes to the person who was thrice divorced with no education but plenty of children who lives in Kentucky - "Did you hurt yourself falling from Heaven?"
By the time that I got through the 50 or so emails, I had narrowed down two profiles and emails that appeared sincere and promising. The profiles were well written and original and there were many pictures that showed me what each person really looked like. I made a mental note to respond to the two profiles before moving on to review the winks. Whew.
I reviewed the winks and instantly deleted those winks that had also sent me emails that I had rejected. This left me with approximately 20 winks. I reviewed the profile of each winker and decided to either wink back or indicate that I was not interested. Of the 20, I winked back at 3.
Next, I tackled the "interested flag" group. I did the same thing here. I read each profile, skimmed through their criteria, reviewed pictures, and responded by indicating my own interest or rejecting. I found that there were two who were interested in me where the interest was reciprocated. I flagged accordingly.
I moved on to the Match list generated for me - there was perhaps 10 - and reviewed the highest match percentage of 100 percent first and then moved down the rung. Based on the review, I flagged my interest for 3 profiles.
Lastly, I reviewed My Daily 5. Of the 5, I indicated interest for 1 profile.
Overall, I was impressed with the computer generated My Daily 5 and Match list of 10. All my selection criteria were met so it was a matter of deciding whether or not I liked the personality as exemplified by the profile and the attraction level based on my scrutiny of the pictures.
My first day on Match was overwhelming and exhausting but I liked the quantitative aspect of the metrics - i.e. how many people wink, email, view my profile, flag interest - and the qualitative aspect of reviewing writing samples and pictures.
I responded to the two emails with short inquiries and signed off from my first day satisfied with my decision.