A new study conducted by online dating app Hinge confirms what we all intuitively knew: "Hey" is for horses.
In fact, the new romantic cyber-landscape the best way to ensure no reply is to be boring and unoriginal (no offence), with lines like "What's up?" barely rating a mention. Best case scenario? Your new acquaintance responds with "Not much". Good luck resurrecting that dead-end dialogue.
Creative conversation initiators rated highest at eliciting a response, with playful openers such as "Two truths and a lie; ready, set, go!" topping the charts as successful conversation starters.
While conversation themes varied by age, surprisingly it was the over-35ers who had the corner on pop culture, with favourite questions including "Katy Perry or Taylor Swift". 18-23 year olds preferred novelty questions such as "You're having your portrait painted: what's the backdrop?" while the mid-rangers discussed lifestyle and personal predilections.
"Better adventure: rock climbing or scuba diving?" rated highly for 24-28 year olds, while 29-34 year olds battled with the deeper issues of life: "Could you date someone who orders plain bagels when they have other options?" (really though, could you? More to the point, could you date someone who even eats carbs??)
It has been said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, but it was women who favoured food-themed messages, with 40% higher response rates to questions such as "Chocolate, red velvet or funfetti?" or "Best discovery: Netflix or avocados?" (avocados, obviously).
Men were 98% more likely to respond to assertive, invitational messages, but their response rate dropped by 25% if they did not receive a message within six hours. Women were more likely to show a bit of patience, with their response rate only dropping by 5% in the same timeframe.
And for those who still prefer to get to know someone the old fashioned way (in person... so last century), social psychology researcher Arthur Aron concocted a list of 36 questions to get to know someone quick-smart.
Starting with the classic "Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?", the questions progress to heavier fare such as "Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing, and why?"
Click here to read the list, and you and your new acquaintances will be best friends in no time.
Grace Mathew is a Sydney-based writer, and graduate of International and Global Studies at the University of Sydney. For contact, email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Grace Mathew's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/grace-mathew.html