In Search of Love

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, student websites promise love without social hassles

The recent unveiling of Crimsoncupid.com and the relaunch of the Harvard Computer Society’s Datamatch are proof positive that Harvard students, far from passively bemoaning the College’s lackluster dating scene, are taking positive steps to remedy the situation. We applaud these newest additions to the constantly expanding realm of online interaction at Harvard and hope that Harvard students’ usage of the Internet will continue to make them increasingly sociable and outgoing.

Crimsoncupid, the latest in what has become an annual tradition of launching romance-related websites just in time for Valentine’s Day, is this year’s most recognizable, personal and usable website. While still flawed, it is vastly superior to its predecessor, Crimsonhookups.com. Likely none have forgotten that now sadly deactivated site, a service so devoid of even the slightest hint of human emotion that the experience of using it felt more like activating a computing account than searching for love.

Crimsoncupid, on the other hand, stands out because of the cheery, lighthearted feel of its graphics, its repeated assurances that it is meant to be “just some good fun,” and because of the uniquely probing insight of its questions. How can people help but recognize that Harvard students are a fun-seeking bunch when they see students answering such probing insights as whether or not one’s “personal beliefs are important,” whether they can “engage in conversations” with “new people,” or, most earnestly in that especially Harvard sort of way, whether or not they want to “win at everything?”

Many students will undoubtedly slave over the survey’s questions, perhaps utilizing the 10-day window for profile alterations to artificially raise their compatibility rating with a prospective love interest or maybe trying to decipher the website’s “mathematical formulas” to find out just what lights their Valentine’s flame. Regardless of how one uses it, Crimsoncupid seems likely to take its place as the latest valuable addition to the Harvard student’s social arsenal, a repertoire that has earlier been bolstered by Thefacebook.com and Zachary A. Corker ’04, the “fun czar.”

Unencumbered by the bothersome, and often unsuccessful, pursuits of “going to parties” or “hitting on” people, Harvard students can now dodge many of life’s nasty realities and electronically surf their way to states of bliss. The day has now arrived when a student can locate a potential mate on Thefacebook, judge his or her compatibility on Crimsoncupid, and take that person to a Corker-sponsored event. We should all be thankful for these greasings of the wheels of socialization.

The only major fault we find with Crimsoncupid is its current Harvard-only restriction; the site is limiting the scope of its potential greatness. The entrepreneurial creators Jonathan Hyman ’08 and Kevin Bombino ’08 would do well to adopt the manifest-destiny-like strategy of Thefacebook and aggressively expand to Boston University, Boston College, Wellesley, Northeastern and Tufts. While Harvard’s 6,500 students are an interesting bunch, the amorous possibilities of having tens of thousands of area college students linked together in one vast electronic embrace are too great to imagine. Harvard men and women alike would be able to finally take advantage of one of the reasons that convinced them to go here in the first place: Boston’s status as a college town par excellence.

Harvard already reigns supreme in the world of electronically networked friendship, and we see no reason why it should not take its rightful place atop the world of electronically networked romance as well. With websites and electronic pairing services becoming ever more advanced, and with Harvard students becoming increasingly bold in their use, perhaps Harvard’s lackluster dating scene will finally be invigorated.