Listener Shares Frustration With Online Dating

Tell Me More host Michel Martin and Lee Hill, the program's "digital media guy," comb through listener feedback and offer news updates to recent conversations. This week, Lazlo in Massachusetts explains his unsuccessful attempt to find love in cyberspace. His comments follow a recent conversation on racial disparities in online dating.

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MICHEL MARTIN, host:

And now it's time for Backtalk, where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere, and get a chance to hear from you, our listeners. Lee Hill, our digital media guy, is here with me as usual. Hi, Lee, what's up?

LEE HILL: Hey, Michel. So on Tuesday, we reported on a recent study that found that although love might be blind, online dating is not. The folks behind the dating site OKCupid told us that black women are largely unacknowledged in virtual communities, and the quest for online romance tends to favor white men and white women.

That's disappointing news for many, Michel, but after that conversation, I caught up with Lazlo, who posted to our online forum. Now, Lazlo is a black man. He says he's in his early 40s. Listen up. Here's what he had to say.

Mr. LAZLO: I have tried online dating, on and off, for some time now. In all honesty, I have to say that overall, black women are the least likely to write me back. Now, for instance, I've been on BlackPlanet.com a few times, and I figured I'd have better results there. The majority of women who replied back to me, and even initiate correspondence, have always been white. No, I have not given up on black women, but I have to say the experience has been vexing.

MARTIN: I can understand that. Well, Lazlo, hang in there. Any updates, Lee?

HILL: Yes, Michel. On Tuesday, we talked about the outrage brewing over hefty bonuses being doled out on Wall Street, all this after the economy has still not fully recovered from last year's financial meltdown. Well, later in the week, the Treasury Department ordered seven companies that received billions of dollars in government bailouts to slash compensation for their top-earning executive. Treasury official Kenneth Feinberg says the average salaries of the top 25 executive will be cut by 90 percent beginning next month.

Also last week, we talked about the growing popularity of marijuana, medical marijuana, that is, in California. As you can imagine, this is stirring its own bit of controversy, but the medical marijuana community just received a boost, sort of, from the government.

The Justice Department told federal prosecutors on Monday to stand down on pursuing medical marijuana users who are within the law.

Well, that's some interesting news, Michel.

MARTIN: Yes, it is. Thank you, Lee.

HILL: Thank you.

MARTIN: And remember, with TELL ME MORE, the conversation never ends. To tell us more, you can call our comment line at 202-842-3522. Please remember to leave your name. You can also log onto our Web site, where you can read more from fellow listeners and enjoy a simpler social networking experience. Just go to npr.org. Click on programs, then on TELL ME MORE and blog it out.

(Soundbite of music)

MARTIN: Coming up, the Barbershop guys weigh in on the balloon boy.

Unidentified Man: Collectively, we held our breath, right? And this is shameful what they did. It's sinful because they took that very great thing about Americanism, and they sinned against it. They exploited it for their own 15 minutes.

MARTIN: The Barbershop guys are next. This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin.

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