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Why Did My New Sprint Phone Come with Match.com Preloaded?

I was playing with my new phone in the car the other day when we were driving home from a trip into Manhattan and I noticed a really odd item on the Messaging list. The menu goes like this:

  1. Send Message
  2. Text
  3. Picture Mail
  4. IM & Email
  5. Chat & Dating
  6. Voicemail
Dating? Dating? So, if I'm, like, lonely, my new phone will get dates for me? How futuristic. I followed the menu, and it turns out that Sprint seems to have some kind of joint venture with Match.com, an online dating service.

Meeting people through online dating services is one of the more dangerous things you can do on the Internet, in my humble opinion. Even if I were single, online dating is not something I would do. But I hear from those what have used them that they are crawling with married creeps on the make and con artists looking for their next mark who have 15 accounts spanning ten different services.

SO, when this phone wears out and I get my next one in two years, will there be a menu item offering me the opportunity to help get ten million dollars out of Nigeria? Sprint execs, what were you thinking?

UPDATE: Don't miss Aldra Robinson's hilarious Internet Dating: The Costco of Romance:

I decided to contact the hottest guy on my list. He was totally committed to finding a relationship. So committed, in fact, that he was moving to the other side of the continent in a few weeks. His commitment to commitment was so fierce, he wondered if I wouldn’t mind having some kinky sex, since one of the predetermined questions (step one in the contact process—you can’t just send an email. Eharmony controls every aspect of what is exchanged, including at times the very verbiage sent) hinted that we both might be into it.

Read the whole thing even if you would never consider using an online dating service.

(Via Exposing Online Predators and Cyberpaths.)