The Hell Butterfly

24 Hours in PoF

I got ambushed. That’s what happened. Well, I joined, slept, watched Dickinson’s Real Deal and then got ambushed, but it happened nonetheless.

First thing I noticed after being logged on for five minutes, is that you get waaay more attention when you’re online. In those five minutes I received 3 emails from members. Add this to the three I’d received yesterday and some things can be noticed from the off.

I was struck by how, well, normal the emails were. There was one that set the bar quite low, and actually made me laugh out loud, but to be fair to the members of Plenty of Fish, they’re relatively average. Here are some that I’ve received in the last 16ish hours:

Chad: heya darling very beautiful lady u ok ?(: xx hows your day been hunnie? xx love your profile nd interests babe? xx drop a message?(:

I cracked a rib laughing when I first read this. Does this approach really work? Has he seriously sent this message to a girl before and ended up with a positive reaction? If a bloke came up to me in the street like the fuckin’ raspberry from the Vimto advert I’d roll my eyes in disgust and walk away. Suffice to say I shall not be “dropping a message” in this lifetime.

Pondlife: Hello hows your day been megan x

Nice and simple, better for sure than Chad’s sorry excuse for an opening message. That is all the credit I can give him though, which isn’t saying much given the only point of reference. It’s polite, true, but there’s nothing to go on. My only response can be “I’m okay, how are you?” No meaningful conversation can follow this kind of introduction. I’d commend the correct use of ‘your’ except he forgot the apostrophe in “how’s”. Nice try, Pondlife.

Bambi: Hey how are you doing? You seem like a really cool, and we seem to have a bit in common such as reading, writing, cricket, and im also a fellow introvert, who can sometimes be a little too much of a recluse. If you like my profile and fancy a chat, come say hi x

This has been my favourite thus far. And not just because he insists on being called Bambi. I can tell reading this that the phrase “like a really cool” is in fact missing a word and not simply bad general grammar. I don’t know what he meant to add but I can’t mark him down for that. I cringe at the failed spelling of “I’m” however he did prove that he’d read my profile by listing interests, and went that step further to tell me which of my interests he shared. I like that he told me he can be too reclusive, because while some would hate a person putting themselves down, to me it means they can recognise their own faults and aren’t afraid to admit it. Even the way it ended was decent – it is an invitation to view his profile and to respond if I wish. There is no pressure in that closing comment. So far, Bambi has my approval.

Crazyrob: Hey, so what’s your favorite band at the moment? Staying in is all good though. Everyone should have a laugh with sarcasm, nothing should be taken too seriously. Would love to chat more. Hope to hear from you

I give Crazyrob some props for making conversation that is more specific than any other message. He also, like Bambi, picked up on specifics from my profile – I mentioned how my sarcasm can be accidentally funny – so fair play. Bad points, I don’t like the phrase “Staying in is all good though”. What does that refer to? When I make a comment about a separate point, I go down a line. This separates it out and makes it easier to follow. I am confused here as to what pat of the message he’s referring to, or whether he is actually referring to something on my profile. In terms of the phrasing itself, it almost makes it sound as though I’ve said staying in was a bad thing and he’s trying to put my mind at ease. Or is that just me? I won’t be replying to this guy. It probably didn’t help him much he had the word “crazy” in his username. And you can see the crazy in his eyes ..

Ollie: Hello u alright hope hope you dm the mail ur so really gorgeous and stunning xx

This message produced nothing from me but a sigh and a head-shake. So much wrongness. Punctuation. Spelling. Unnecessary abbreviation. Overuse of compliments. And finally, overuse of x’s. Allow me to explain. I’m a stickler for good grammar, spelling and punctuation, and even said this on my profile. So the bad use of all three on his part gets my heckles up. In terms of the x’s and compliments, every girl likes them, but for an introductory message I think these should be kept to a minimum. A small compliment is appreciated to show you’ve noted appearance, but in my mind it shouldn’t be the focus of the first message. Maybe some girls like it, but a third of his message focuses on the importance of looks. I did like the compliment, but I’m sorry mate, I like a conversation. I “dm the mail”, but I do mind your lack of literary competency.

Snappy: Hey, I played cricket in school, always had to play as batsman so I could hit the ball far 🙂 I stay inside too much too 😉

I received this one while typing up my analysis of the previous messages. I like this one. Made me chuckle but in a good way. I was laughing with, not at. I did say I liked cricket so he read as far down as the Interests section. He also made a personal comment about the subject and made it funny. It’s playful, tells me a little about him and shows me he’s paid attention. Nice work, Snappy.

Thus far I can say that the quality of members is higher than previous sites I’ve been on. There are still some obvious flaws, but a lot are to be expected. A great percentage of the population don’t know how to communicate with good grammar and spelling. Text speak is regrettably a common occurrence. I tend to let these things go – to an extent –  because a lot of mistakes are simply because it’s written word. Speech is generally okay. My Dad is a very eloquent man, but he cannot capitalise texts to save his life and often replaces letters with numbers, under the impression it is faster to type. So I’ll let it slide, just so long as it is not diabolically atrocious.

I will say the messaging service itself is better. On K! Dating there was the Introductory Message feature which allowed you to send a generic message to every member within your set parameters. Of the hundred-ish messages I got during my time there, less than ten were directed specifically to me. The big difference on Plenty of Fish is that if you want to send a message to expand on your profile, you must send a specific one to a member. Already in my first 24 hours I have received the same number of direct messages as I did in my entire K! Dating experience.

While typing this I got another message, this time from – and I retch as I say this – a topless individual. To make it worse, it’s taken with a phone. I hate those kinds of photos. Use a goddamned camera, mate. That’s what they’re for. Let’s read it .. it’s from Alessandro. You wanna know what is says?

Hello x

Um. Wow. Straight to the point I guess.

Perhaps I should do an experiment. It might make for good research to respond exactly as appropriate to messages. For example, to this I would reply simply, “Hello.” He’s given me no incentive to message back, but it could be interesting to play along.

For now, I’ll consider reaching out to Snappy and Bambi. I have a good idea what the next PoF post will be about, but I’ll keep that under wraps for now. It’ll be lengthy, but might make for entertaining reading. Stay tuned.


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