Heart made of pixels in a pink gradient, reading NEC in the center
Katherine McCabe / Gavel Media

Love Is in the Air, Thanks To NEC's Datamatch Survey

Are you exhausted by the tireless swiping on your Tinder screen? Swipe left no more! The New England Classic’s "Datamatch" has returned with a new set of hilarious questions to find your valentine. Whether you're taken and looking for a friend or just having trouble navigating the Boston College dating scene (can't blame you—we are in a global pandemic, after all), the Classic has got your back.

For those who have never heard of Datamatch, the online platform pairs students with several matches, based on their answers to 25 multiple-choice questions. Created by the Harvard Computer Society in 1994, the Crimson “nerds” (as they’re affectionately described by other Harvard students) have passed the love across the river, sharing the Datamatch algorithm with BC. With Harvard in charge of programming the algorithm, and the Classic in charge of doing what it does best—creating humorous questions—2021 will be the third year of Datamatch at Boston College. According to the Datamatch website, the service is "primarily meant to be humorous and casual, but there's always a chance of finding a lasting relationship." So, regardless of whether you are looking for a laugh or want a chance at a Gasson wedding a few years from now, there is no reason not to take the survey.

The success of Datamatch at BC is evident in its growing popularity among students, with over 1,500 Eagles taking the survey in both 2019 and 2020. A member of the Classic, Katie Ovoian, MCAS '22, explains that with more students taking the survey, more matches for each user are possible: about 10 matches per person. These matches are formed based on humor, Katie explains, "like in a magazine, if you get mostly A's it means you have a certain kind of humor and will be matched with other students who also choose mostly A's." 

While Harvard supplies the algorithm, the survey questions are BC-specific. In the 2020 Datamatch, one question asked students, "where were YOU when the Eagles beat No. 1 Duke?" The choices to this question would only be understood by BC students, a few of the options being "Watching the game in O'Neill because I didn't have enough points to get tickets,” “Checking ESPN on my phone while in line at Flatbreads,” and “In high school (nerd)." In the past, Harvard has allowed the Classic’s writers to have complete creative control, but this year, Harvard left a few comments on the questions. Katie states that they ignored most of the suggestions and is excited to reveal this year's set of questions based on BC jokes.

Even though hopeless romantics may enter their BC email into Datamatch hoping to find a soulmate, Katie states that "the survey serves a humorous purpose; it's silly, and a lot of fun, but I wouldn't say it's the most accurate." Similarly, Lexie Slotterback, LSOE '22, describes her own experience taking the survey for the first time, stating, "I couldn't wait to find love, and then I clicked the link and wondered what is this nonsense." Nonsense indeed, yet this survey’s results have matched both Katie and Lexie with friends, proving Datamatch does serve to create relationships. Members of the Classic have bonded over their match results, with the quiz questions acting as a conversation starter for budding friendships. The survey matching participants with people they enjoy spending time with speaks to its legitimacy: even if you don't find love, you may share a laugh if deciding to pursue a date with a match.

The silliness of the survey has not stopped some students from looking for romance, however. Lexie has experienced this firsthand, stating, "some of my friends took the survey hoping they would match with their crushes and have an excuse to text them." Additionally, Lexie's roommate went on "three Datamatch dates last year, all of which went very well." While no one has gotten married just yet, Katie reports that some of her matches have slid into her DM's. If that doesn't scream romance, nothing does.

Datamatch opens February 1st and closes the night of the 13th. The survey will be available on the Datamatch website, and the cupids behind the algorithm will upload results on Valentine's Day. In a time where it's harder to meet others than ever, why not submit answers to some questions to meet a few friends, or, in the wise words of Lexie, "Why not meet with ten cuties?" Make the best of a socially distant season and thank the Classic for an opportunity to make a few friends or even fall in love. 

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the number of survey participants in 2020 was over 2,500, not 1,500. The article was updated on Feb. 2, 2021 to reflect the actual value.

Iced coffee connoisseur who loves to paint, play the ukulele and all things purple.

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