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And you can’t always tell who those are going to come from!You might think it would be more likely with the dudes whose initial messages are already a little sketchy, but it’s not uncommon to also receive abusive responses to rejection from the guy whose first message was polite, unassuming and/or charming.

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I also think I would get more pushback of the kind hiring managers sometimes get when we reject an applicant. Part of it is just a difference in conventions — the professional conventions for hiring are different than the conventions for online dating.

Employers are expected to close the loop when someone sends them business correspondence, which is what a job application is.

Given that, it’s just the smarter option for women who don’t want to field a bunch of hostile and insulting messages not to respond to people to say “thanks but I don’t think we’re the right match.” Now, it’s certainly true that some job applicants also respond to rejection with hostility, but (a) they’re far less numerous than in online dating, (b) the intensity of the hostility seems to be lower, and (c) it’s part of the job in that situation to deal with the occasional whacked out response to rejection.

the fall of 1964, on a visit to the World’s Fair, in Queens, Lewis Altfest, a twenty-five-year-old accountant, came upon an open-air display called the Parker Pen Pavilion, where a giant computer clicked and whirred at the job of selecting foreign pen pals for curious pavilion visitors. Within a year, more than five thousand subscribers had signed on. It would invite dozens of matched couples to singles parties, knowing that people might be more comfortable in a group setting. They wound up in the pages of the New York subscriber.

Over the next few years, there was a rush of feature requests as gaps in functionality were found.

It feels different, because it feels more like I’m rejecting a person, well, personally, rather than saying they aren’t the right fit or we had more qualified applicants. I do indeed think the etiquette for rejection in different in these two situations: It’s much more acceptable not to reply to messages from would-be suitors on online dating sites than it is for employers not to reply to job applicants.

With online dating, there’s more of a cultural norm (among most people, at least) that if you’re not interested, there’s no need to respond to say that; it’s okay to just delete the message.

Part of it, too, is that there’s more of an understanding (or at least there’s supposed to be) that hiring and applying for jobs is, well, business not personal.

As a result, everyone involved is expected to handle rejection reasonably professionally.

(Not that they always do, of course, but there’s more of an expectation of it.) But a really big part of it is the reality that most women doing online dating quickly learn that if they send polite rejections to men who contact them, they’ll receive an enormous number of hostile and even abusive responses.

You filled out a questionnaire, fed it into the machine, and almost instantly received a card with the name and address of a like-minded participant in some far-flung locale—your ideal match. He called up his friend Robert Ross, a programmer at I. M., and they began considering ways to adapt this approach to find matches closer to home. “This loser happens to be a talented fashion illustrator for one of New York’s largest advertising agencies.