649 million reasons to think that people are stupid, ignorant, or both

The amount of money that Americans paid in 2006 to participate in online dating: $649 million.

The amount of money that they needed to pay: Zero.

“Zero?” you ask, “What about sites like Match.com and Yahoo Personals in which people must pay to contact others?”

If you use a free site that I created, www.ContactMeFree.com, you don’t have to pay any site to contact others, or to read messages sent to you. I invented a way to bypass the need to pay for a membership. In fact, if you and others used ContactMeFree, you would be freer than paid members to contact others and have people contact you. The dirty little secret of the online dating industry that almost NO ONE seems to get is that paying for a membership does not remove all of the obstacles that personals sites put in your way! Even if you are so rich that money means nothing to you, you do care about meeting the best possible match, and finding that person sooner, not later. Online dating sites make it seem easy to meet people, but they are structured to make that process more difficult than you imagine. They want you to keep paying, month after month. And you do. Fools.

I admit it: I was once this foolish. Then I had an epiphany and began to see how little my membership fees actually bought. The deeper I dug, the more I realized how online dating sites are rigged. I wanted to do something about it, but what? Initially, it seemed that their “pay to contact” stranglehold was insurmountable.

Then, eureka! I figured out how to legally obviate the need to pay membership fees to online dating sites, and other “pay to contact” personal ads, such as those in newspapers in which contacting someone might cost you $1.99 or more per minute. I released ContactMeFree a few months later, and since then every dating site became effectively free to use. Yet you and others keep paying them. Why?

If you spend a few minutes reading ContactMeFree’s FAQ page, you will see that ContactMeFree is an indispensable adjunct to any dating site, unless money, time, and results mean nothing to you. The worst that anyone can say about ContactMeFree is that you cannot immediately contact someone if that person does not yet have a ContactMeFree profile. So what? I created an innovative way for you to send a message to someone even if that person does not yet have a ContactMeFree account. News travels fast on the Internet, and in a week or two everyone could be flocking to ContactMeFree and reading the messages waiting for them. Or you can keep on paying the online dating sites, month after month, and year after year.

Perhaps people are waiting for there to be a critical mass of ContactMeFree users before they think it is worthwhile to sign up. This is reminiscent of what the first few telephone purchasers faced over a century ago. Why buy a telephone when there are few people with telephones to converse with? Or why be the first person to buy a fax machine if no one else has a fax to receive your transmissions? However, we know how that turned out, don’t we?

What you need to know about online dating, but probably don't

The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

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