No prom date? Consider searching online
by Jen Lin
Published April 21, 2012
It’s that time of year again — when teenage angst reaches its peak as students scramble for last-minute dibs on prom dates, pre-prom photo plans and table arrangements.
By taking advantage of prom season, an anonymous Palo Alto High School student offers peers an online prom match-making service.
Students without dates for the upcoming prom can fill out an online survey by 5 p.m. tonight, and the anonymous “Paly Prom Matchmaker” will provide a list of potential dates for participants.
“I am currently looking through my list of people and, of the ones that I cannot find a match for based off the people that have filled it [the survey] out, [I] will use my knowledge of our school population to find other people that may not have used the survey,” the Matchmaker said. “I will send people that have filled out the survey a list of three to five names [of people] and if those [people] expressed interest in them or just fit their requests.”
While the student who arranged this service wished to remain anonymous, the Matchmaker self-confirmed to be a male, senior Paly student.
“I think that by remaining anonymous, more people will be willing to ask for a date and they will not feel like I will judge them for using it,” the Matchmaker said. “It encourages people to be more honest and open about what they want in a date.”
The Matchmaker was inspired to create this online service after seeing his two friends without dates, yet wanted them to enjoy their proms.
“As we know, the online dating scene is growing every day, and since it is not uncommon to find a relationship online, why should we not find prom dates in the same way?” the Matchmaker said.
So far, the Matchmaker reported many males asking for dates, but had a difficult time finding females to participate, though he attributed this trend to inadequate participant reaction time.
“I posted the survey a bit late — this past weekend — which only gave people three days to fill it out because I wanted to give dates by Thursday [yesterday],” the Matchmaker said. “To fix this, I have been talking to a lot of girls to see which of their friends are without dates; I am also going to keep taking requests for dates until probably Friday [to] get more answers.”
The Matchmaker hopes to continue and improve this service for future proms as well as for other Bay Area proms. Although the Matchmaker currently works independently from Paly’s Associated Student Body, he would be interested in working with ASB to make a similar or improved ASB-organized service for next year, according to the Matchmaker.
This service may encourage more of the Paly population to find a date online, but the Matchmaker believes it won’t render traditional prom-asking obsolete for the future.
“I found my date in a traditional way, and I believe the average student still will,” the Matchmaker said. “It is just to ensure a happy prom for all.”
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