Published by Crown Publishing Group on September 9, 2014
Genres/Lists: Non-Fiction, Science/Technology/Psychology
Read synopsis on Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon/Audible (this post includes affiliate links)
Did you know that women judge men more harshly on their looks than they do us? Or that universally attractive people are hit on less? I didn’t, either, until I read Dataclysm by Christian Rudder, founder of the dating website OKCupid. Using cold, hard data to identify trends and differentiate between what people say they want versus what they actually want, Rudder has written an approachable book that any social media user can understand. In it, Rudder uses data from his dating website, OKCupid, to paint a sweeping picture of social stereotypes and to explore whether there’s any truth behind them. Leaving no stone unturned, Rudder tackles issues as simple as what age a woman is most desirable and as complex as race and sexual orientation. Turns out, what people say and what people do aren’t always the same thing, and the results may surprise you.
Of course, no book about social media would be complete without some discussion about Facebook, and Rudder makes it very clear that Facebook’s goal in using your data is different than his own company’s (meaning they want to sell you things). That said, he was intrigued enough by the data the social media giant has amassed and has designed a way to predict your marital success based on you and your partner’s friends lists (my husband and I are golden, FYI), which is pretty neat (you can take the test here).Did you know universally attractive people are hit on less? Find out more 'fun' facts with this great book: Click To Tweet
So what are a few things that I learned? Some of it was new to me (like women judging looks more harshly than men), but some of it was not (data shows that men really have no idea what they want). More interesting than what I learned, however, are the reasons behind them. Why do men have no idea what they want? Why are universally attractive people messaged less? Why do people who go on blind dates have a better time than those who don’t? If you’re interested in any of these answers, then definitely read this book. Dataclysm actually isn’t nearly as technical as you’d expect, so don’t let the title scare you off.
Side note: I listened to this on audiobook and it was perfect – less than 8 hours with an engaging narrator. It’s the perfect thing to listen to while you’re at work, driving, or cleaning house!
Recommended for: Data wonks.