They wonder whether Silicon Valley — a place infamously inhospitable to romance and with the most lopsided gender imbalance in the country — has proved too vexing for even its own dating apps. You’re not getting a delivery in less than seven minutes.” Customers at Local Union 271 sit down for dinner at the restaurant in Palo Alto, Calif.
But they’re also left with a more fundamental doubt: Maybe the human mysteries of chemistry and attraction aren’t problems big data can solve. Random, serendipitous meetings at a bar or party seem increasingly rare, several singles in Silicon Valley complain.
Melissa Hobley, an executive at the dating app Ok Cupid, hears the complaints about the apps regularly and thinks they get a bad rap. (Laura Morton/For The Washington Post ) Finding love, she added, takes commitment and energy — and, yes, time, no matter how inefficiently it’s spent.
Silicon Valley workers “are in the business of scalable, quick solutions. “You have a whole city obsessed with algorithms and data, and they like to say dating apps aren’t solving the problem,” Hobley said.
But after six months of dead-end mismatches with guys she thought were boring or work-obsessed, she has gone back to what she called “meeting the old-fashioned way”: without a screen.
The firms are also so big that different departments, with differing gender balances, barely mix.
When Jonathan Soma, a data-visualization professor at Columbia University’s journalism school, used Census Bureau numbers to map Silicon Valley’s singles, he was astounded: There were entire Zip codes around Palo Alto with 40 percent more single men than women.
“But if a city is male-dominant, if a city is known for 16-hour work days, those are issues that dating apps can’t solve.” One thing distinguishes the Silicon Valley dating pool: The men-to-women ratio for employed, young singles in the San Jose metro area is higher than in any other major area. That ratio permeates the economy here, all the way to the valley’s biggest employers, which have struggled for years to bring more women into their ranks.
There were about 150 men for every 100 women, compared with about 125 to 100 nationwide, of never-married young people between 25 and 34 in San Jose, U. Men make up about 70 percent of the workforces of Apple, Facebook and Google parent Alphabet, company filings show.
Get Set Date, a San Francisco-based “dating consultancy” that sells app-ready self-portrait shoots starting at $500, assures buyers: “You are not a collection of facts.