What is it?
SpareRoom has teamed up with Swiss-based company Karmagenes to create a new DNA Housemate Matchmaking service. The self-testing kit offers an in-depth analysis of an individual’s character based on their DNA profile, so they can go on to find someone with similar traits. All you need to do is provide a swab of your saliva and take an online psychometric test, then SpareRoom and Karmagenes work their magic, providing you with a detailed report that looks at 14 characteristics – including spontaneity, optimism and stress tolerance – to help hook you up with the perfect roommate.
What’s right with it?
What with spending so much time in the place you live, having a housemate that compliments your personality and lifestyle is important. Moving is no picnic, after all. Your happiness at home will always have a massive impact on your life, so you want to make sure everything’s perfect, right?
Kyriakos Kokkoris, CEO and Co-Founder of Karmagenes explained, “Our genetic make-up influences who we are, as people understand themselves better and allow them to apply the findings to their daily lives. Together with environmental factors, behavioural genetics show that personality traits are indeed influenced by our DNA, making SpareRoom’s DNA kit a useful and meaningful social tool.”
What’s wrong with it?
Well… Is it really necessary? The popularity of DNA tests seems to be hitting a peak right now, what with DNA-based cosmetics and DNA dating. There are even companies that sell DNA tests to catch your partner cheating or find the owner of the dog that messed on your lawn. It seems like a frivolous use of such a powerful technology, a prime example of society once again taking something ‘too far’.
SpareRoom’s Communications Director Matt Hutchinson revealed, “There’s no such thing as the perfect flatshare, but understanding a little more about yourself, and knowing how to pick your flatmates to match your personality, will help find the perfect balance for you.” But who’s really to say what the perfect balance is? Would you prefer someone who’s basically your genetic twin, or are you more in the ‘opposites attract’ school of thought? The answer is highly subjective.
The bottom line…
While the simple pleasure of finding a flatmate with whom you can live harmoniously with can’t be underestimated – we all read that New York Magazine worst roommate story as a didactic tale, right? – the idea of using a DNA test to help you a roommate seems a little OTT and – we’ll say it – kind of narcissistic. You do, after all, only receive information on your own personality. And really, what’s more egocentric than finding out every single little thing about yourself, right down to your genetics, for the purpose of flat-finding?
Still, we’ve all had a bad roommate, some probably worse than others. So perhaps the need for such a test depends on the severity of your previous experience. Whatever your thoughts, now is the best time to see if the test could work for you – SpareRoom are currently trialling the service for free, so head over to their FaceBook page to give it a go.