Science Connection Member Polylogue, part 5
Content of mini-profiles and biographical profiles
- A large number of the profiles I have read have not contained enough information upon which to base a good personal letter. In many cases, I find myself thinking I might be interested, but there just isn't enough information present. Obviously many people have not invested the time on their own profiles that they would like to see someone else invest an initial contact. So far, all these abbreviated "full" profiles are sitting in my "maybe" pile.
- I wish people would use the valuable space in their Bio-profiles by including as much useful information about themselves as is humanly possible. I hate reading a Profile containing wishy-washy statements like "I'll read anything!" or "I like all kinds of music." Be specific!
- ... The profiles I don't explore further are the short, hastily written, vague ones that could
describe anyone. I can meet "anyone" anywhere. This is not the place to be non-descript. Let's see
One area that needs some special attention is the "Important characteristics for mates, etc." section. You are trying to help a person decide whether or not he has what you want. It doesn't do any good to list simple virtues like honesty - who knows himself as dishonest? Can you imagine me reading along and saying "Aw, shucks - I'm too much of a liar for her"? Would a dishonest person disqualify himself just because you desire honesty? Obviously, we all want honesty, but it is a quality that is proven over the course of the relationship, not one we can realistically insist on going in. Maybe we should specify what flavor of honesty we want: blunt, diplomatic, selective (challenge my choice of political candidates but keep your opinions about my car to yourself ...)
Humor is similar. No problem with humor, of course, but everyone has a sense of humor. Some just don't match yours. It's like saying your ideal mate should have a mind. Can you think of anyone who would describe themselves as humorless? If it's really important, maybe you could specify what kind of humor you enjoy.
The bottom line is that, on my own, I can describe my personality quirks and traits more accurately than I can quantify my virtues. I'm a near-perfect Greek god in shining armor - just ask me!
- It would be great in the biographical profiles if people would SAY MORE. Some profiles are so terse I barely get a picture of the person - it's like a list of a few books or hobbies. I can't tell anything from them. The profiles that are practically essays are much better. I want to know what you care most about in life, what you believe in, what your values are, what you have done in the past that was cool or important and are doing now. Don't just list your profession: "science writer"; "biologist" - tell me where you work (unless it's a privacy issue), what you do, why it attracts you, where your passion kicks in. And please, PLEASE include a photo!! If I even contact someone without a photo, the first thing I'll do anyway is ask him for one.
- Info on preferences re ethnicity/religion desired It would have helped immensely if the mini-profiles or the detailed profiles indicated very clearly whether or not the person is open to meeting someone from a different race/religion/national origin. People do have preferences in these categories and it is quite okay to have them and express them. These preferences do not imply that someone is a racist and issues such as these, as well as those involving children (have any? want any? etc.) are extremely important in a relationship; far more than a mutual interest in birding!
- Key info desired If one is serious about finding a spouse (rather than a friend) some data are essential, e.g. Are there existing children? Ages of same? Are more desired? If there are no children, where does the contact stand on this issue? The question of religion is also a tricky one - does it mean religion or religious background (ethnic group)? Our religious background often shapes our lifestyle and attitudes more than a religion actually practised currently. You may argue that all this can be covered in "second-tier" correspondence. I would respond that it's more significant than knowing whether someone likes "long walks on the beach", "romantic candlelight dinner" or the inevitable "birding".
- Competing with Fido I do not respond to bios that say, for instance, "... I have 3 dogs [and then later] ... must like dogs." My reaction is that I will rank somewhere behind the last dog or cat in importance in that person's life, and I think I want to be a bit more than that. I could foresee this situation: "I guess either the dog or you are going to have to go, so you're going".
- Past vs. present activities Again and again members claim to be in good physical condition and active in sports. However, this is often blatant misrepresentation and wastes my time. Please remind members to be honest about their physical state and activities. I am very tired of "has-beens" - perhaps this applies especially to older members? The last disappointment was a has-been skier/hiker who walked with two canes!
- Up-to-date info, please Please encourage members to be sure the interest/ability section is current! I met one man who had become nearly disabled since he wrote his bio... he no longer can do all the active outdoor things he'd mentioned. I have to admit it did make a difference.
- State an age limit, if you have one I have not counted the men who use Sciconnect but given the number of women subscribing, I believe it would be far easier for men to lay off hitting upon those who are affronted by older men's fond assaults by stating an age limit in their mini-profiles. Further to this, an email address on profiles should be encouraged as that too makes the whole system of communications far more efficacious.
- Mini-profile composition Being an experienced mini-profile writer, here's some advice for others: Avoid simple adjectives like passionate, fun loving, dynamic. These words by themselves tell very little. Rather, mention the things you are passionate about, and what you think is fun. The dynamic part will show through. Also preferences like love to travel and read and music lover really tell very little. Every interesting person I know loves these things. What I want to know is where you want to travel, what do you read, and listen to? One book and one piece of music listed in the mini-profile tell more.
- I was intrigued by the question in the February newsletter as to why or why not one might
contact a person. I began considering why I contacted two men (out of ten profiles requested) who,
interestingly, are quite different in age, personality, appearance and interests. They shared a few
important traits which I found attractive:
(1) A sense of purpose and enthusiasm - for life and for professional pursuits. This was conveyed even in the one-page profile.
(2) Regard for others. I got the impression that they truly like, accept and respect people, which made me less shy about contacting them.
(3) Intelligence - Like many SC members, these guys are accomplished and smart! Very appealing in my book.
They were also open to more than one mode of contact. I'm not likely to write a letter initially, so I only respond to those who give phone calls as an option.
As for why I may not contact someone: I skip profiles with lots of physical or age specifications, even though I often fall into the desired categories. I am more compatible with men who are open-minded, and I don't have age, height, race or weight specifications either. As the saying goes "If I'm too busy telling you who you ought to be, I might miss who you are". As for photos, they are a nice bonus.
- Did I miss the advertisement for the Sci-Connect secret decoder ring? I am at a loss to
interpret more than 15 different acronyms in the abstracts. What is an INFP, INFT, INTJ, ISFJ,
INFJ? By the context I'm guessing it's some sort of psychological profile, but perhaps it's stating a
religious orientation, ethnic preference, or even being upfront about carrying a social disease.
Apparently it's something only women have, because it isn't mentioned once in the 50 or more male
abstracts I scanned through. Are women talking about themselves or what they want in a mate? The
guys should note that an "ISO man" is apparently in great demand, but he must be rare, because
none of us state that in our abstracts (probably because none of us know what it is). If I'm not an
"ISO", what am I? Should I even bother to contact NPR, LTR, NS, LTC, ENTJ, ENFP, or ESFP?
WBAI compatible, or was she talking about her favorite radio station? A scatter plot shows the dialect
of acronymese is more common on the east coast (on the west coast you see things like "SCUBA"), so
maybe it's just that I'm from California.
Would it be possible to provide definitions of all of these? ... Perhaps it can be pointed out that if only the women are using these codes we are not speaking the same language. It's as confusing as being told that someone is a double Cancer with Libra rising (though at least you'd know when to buy a birthday present, and could find a book to explain in any store.
Coordinator: We now provide a key in the website Member Zone. Nevertheless, I personally think acronyms are overused. BTW (by the way), ISO = in search of!
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