Online dating management
This article focuses on the ways in which CMC interactants manage their online self-presentation and contributes to our knowledge of these processes by examining these issues in the naturalistic context of online dating, using qualitative data gathered from in-depth interviews with online dating participants.
In contrast to a technologically deterministic perspective that focuses on the characteristics of the technologies themselves, or a socially deterministic approach that privileges user behavior, this article reflects a social shaping perspective.
In 2003, at least 29 million Americans (two out of five singles) used an online dating service (Gershberg, 2004); in 2004, on average, there were 40 million unique visitors to online dating sites each month in the U. Ubiquitous access to the Internet, the diminished social stigma associated with online dating, and the affordable cost of Internet matchmaking services contribute to the increasingly common perception that online dating is a viable, efficient way to meet dating or long-term relationship partners (St. Mediated matchmaking is certainly not a new phenomenon: Newspaper personal advertisements have existed since the mid-19th century (Schaefer, 2003) and video dating was popular in the 1980s (Woll & Cosby, 1987; Woll & Young, 1989).
Although scholars working in a variety of academic disciplines have studied these earlier forms of mediated matchmaking (e.g., Ahuvia & Adelman, 1992; Lynn & Bolig, 1985; Woll, 1986; Woll & Cosby, 1987), current Internet dating services are substantively different from these incarnations due to their larger user base and more sophisticated self-presentation options.
Qualitative data analysis suggests that participants attended to small cues online, mediated the tension between impression management pressures and the desire to present an authentic sense of self through tactics such as creating a profile that reflected their “ideal self,” and attempted to establish the veracity of their identity claims.
This study provides empirical support for Social Information Processing theory in a naturalistic context while offering insight into the complicated way in which “honesty” is enacted online.
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The online dating arena represents an opportunity to document changing cultural norms surrounding technology-mediated relationship formation and to gain insight into important aspects of online behavior, such as impression formation and self-presentation strategies.
Mixed-mode relationships, wherein people first meet online and then move offline, challenge established theories that focus on exclusively online relationships and provide opportunities for new theory development (Walther & Parks, 2002).
Contemporary theoretical perspectives allow us to advance our understanding of how the age-old process of mate-finding is transformed through online strategies and behaviors.
For instance, Social Information Processing (SIP) theory and other frameworks help illuminate computer-mediated communication (CMC), interpersonal communication, and impression management processes. Because if your goal is just to get notches on your belt then you're going to get a lot more this way rather than sending creepy dick pics on these sites.