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Tue, Jun 22, 2010
Her World
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Calling Mr Right: How Zoosk stands up to the test
by Jaclyn Lim

Ever since our mobile phones became mini computers, we’ve used them to send e-mail, tweet or play cyber-footsie with HotGuy78 on SpeedDate. com.

Thanks to the GPS function, finding love with your phone has been revolutionised further: A number of dating apps allows users to search for potential mates within a specified radius in what has been referred to as “proximity dating”.

This could make all the difference when you live in isolation. Like in Sembawang or Woodlands, for example. In theory, iPhone dating could indeed be the best thing to happen to lonely hearts since personal ads – all those men and women looking for “someone with GSOH (good sense of humour)”!

But is it really? We test-drive three apps in the hopes of finding good men.

Free to download from Apple’s App Store, but it costs from $24.99 a month to be a member. Good for meeting and flirting with 20something, tech-savvy men.

The main attraction of palm-sized dating lies in the possibility of finding love anytime, anywhere. In a supermarket queue, during a dull conference call or while sitting on the throne (eek!). A brand new age of intimacy, perhaps? I downloaded the iPhone dating app Zoosk to find out.

It took only minutes to get started. Upload a photo, add details on “My Datecard” and state my preferences (Singaporean men aged between 28 and 34, never married and non-smokers) – all easily done by sliding the ON/OFF buttons for every category. My matches appeared almost instantly.    

Many were earnest-looking fellows with decent names like “Mark”, in 9-to-5 jobs in accounting and IT. Unfortunately, most of them could hardly write a decent message.

Think rambling self-descriptions desperately in need of editing, such as “I am quite joking at time and like marvel movie and big products” and “Duno how to describe myself… come and know me”.

The messages they left in my ZooskBox (e-mail inbox) ranged from less-than-inspiring to downright cringe-worthy. Take Mr Too-Many-Drama-Serials, who believed we had known each other in a past life. And Sticker Man (he prints stickers for a living), who quipped: “You me both Scorpio! We bite! Haa!” I couldn’t see myself dating any of them.   

While I could browse profiles or reply to messages on the go, I was annoyed by how the app worked better only with a membership plan. You’re allowed one message before the conversation is locked, so unless you pay, it’s goodbye forever to Banker Boy.

Even after I became a member, stubborn non-members still left abrupt messages like “Hi, can we be friends? I’m not a member so add me on MSN at [email protected] to chat”. In the end, I had to log on to Zoosk Messenger, Zoosk’s instant messaging client, and Windows Live Messenger on my Macbook.  

More strange conversations ensued. Mr Impatient kept hounding me for my mobile number. His first message to me was “Hp no pls”. He pasted the same message again and again despite my suggestions that we chat online first. When I finally said I was going to bed, he wrote: “Does this mean I am not getting your hp no?”

Then, there was Roti Prata Guy, who awkwardly asked me out for roti prata at 1.30am, and blurted “JUST KIDDING!” when I said no.   

Ultimately, love is all about communication. And the men on this app could barely do so. I guess true love is not a finger-tap away, not yet anyway.

>> NEXT: iDate

1. For more of this story, get a copy of the June 2010 issue of Her World, Singapore’s No. 1 women’s magazine. Her World is published by SPH Magazines and is available at all newsstands now.
2. Zarelda Marie Goh is a features writer with Her World magazine by SPH Magazines.
3. Check out more stories at Her World online,





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