Users on Ok Cupid exchange about 4 million messages a day.
Of course, they do so with a special purpose — dating — but the interface provides no specific prompt and enforces no limit on what or how much anyone types.
Below are messages between 150 and 300 characters, plotted against how long they took to write.
As you can see, taking your time helps, up to a point.
But the downward bend of the trend lines is a wingman in numbers, saying don’t overthink Now, the first vertical on the left, the messages that took no more than ten seconds to write, represents an inordinate amount of the whole and should raise some eyebrows.
It raised mine for sure, and at this point I’m so jaded my face is frozen — Botox has nothing on ten years working at a dating site.
The short answer is, they’re not, and here’s how I know.The broad gist of the scatter plot is: as you approach the diagonal, the messages show less revision.Move toward the bottom right, you get heavy editing, toward the upper left, you get … Our chart’s geometry means that as soon as you cross over the diagonal into the upper half, you’re into people who must’ve typed fewer characters than their messages actually contained.Those are the messages that were “typed” with just a few keystrokes.There are a lot of them — all told, 20 percent of the sample registered 5 or fewer keystrokes.Judging by messaging over all those years, the broad writing culture is indeed changing, and the change is driven by phones.