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Online Dating Research Paper

As people start relying more and more on online dating, there should be an equal amount of enjoyment as well as precaution. Online dating allows for people to have a barrier between them and their significant other where they can decide what information they would like to share and if they are interested in meeting that person. At the same time, online dating has its downfalls because people can choose what they want others to read which can be very deceiving. As people start using the new apps provided to them like Tinder and eHarmony, they can create a false persona immediately while being able to manipulate the other person.

Online dating had existed in the 1800s with advertisements and videos; however, deception was difficult to achieve because the features that are available now had not been created. Although body language, tone, and expressions are lost with an online relationship, through the availability of the new apps, there can be different ways to interact with people, and yet allows for more deception to occur. There were different forms of relationships in the 1800s through: commercial matchmaker, pen pals, personal advertisement, and video-dating that eventually evolved into online dating.

In the article, “Online Dating: A Critical Analysis from the Perspective of Psychological Science” by Eli J. Finkel, Paul W. Eastwick, Benjamin R. Karney, Harry T. Reis informs the audience of the history of online dating. Human matchmakers are the first form of matchmaking that was commonly used and are still impacting people today (Finkel, Eastwick, Karney, Reis, Sprecher). Through parents, and friend’s matchmaking has served as the “scientific” outcome in an online dating website.

Commercial matchmakers work with a limited amount of people, focusing on getting to know them personally; working with their experience and intuition to match people (Finkel al. ). Not only could someone relay on: parents, friends, and commercial matchmaker, but also pen pals that were popular during the Civil War. Being overseas and only having contact with some of the men on board, and losing all connection to the world can be difficult. Therefore, having a pen pal helped these soldiers stay connected to the world and potentially connecting with someone.

By the 1970s, personal advertisements were starting to appear through magazines and newspapers (Finkel et al. ). In the advertisement, the advertiser would provide a “description of his or her qualities, stated a preference for the type of relationship sought, and described a few qualities desired in an ideal partner” so that the audience would know what they were looking for (Finkel el al. ). Being charged based on the number of word or lines, for only one percent of Americans finding a mate was not what people were seeking for (Finkel et al. ).

This was when video-dating emerged in the 1980s with members providing “profile descriptions and photographs and then participating in a brief videotaped interview” that allowed for potential partners to know and see their date (Finkel et al. ). From personal advertisements to video-dating, the evolvement has slowly made its way to computer-based matching and into online dating. Online dating can be divided into three generations: “online personal advertisement sites, algorithm-based matching sites, and smartphone-based dating applications” (Finkel et al. ).

The first generation starts in the mid-1990s, when online dating sites like Match. com started to become popular in the dating environment. “Online Dating & Relationships” by Aaron Smith and Maeve Duggan evaluate the different forms of dating sites and dating apps. These authors state that there are typically two forms of dating websites: “personal ads format, in which users create their own profile and browse the profiles of others on their own”, and computer based matchmaking where the computer pre-selects matches based on their criteria (Smith et al. ).

Frequently used websites for personal ads include: OkCupid, Match. com, and PelentyofFish; while the most common website that uses, algorithmic matchmaking is eHarmony. Online dating is becoming prevalent with “one out of every ten Americans” using online dating sites at one point or another (Smith et al. ). As a result, dating websites are starting to be created and aiming at a diversity of people such as race, sexual orientation, religion, and social status. Soon after, the second generation involving algorithm-based matching sites started taking place.

It began with eHarmony, when it was launched in 2000 stating that it was a “science-based” matching (Finkel et al. ). These websites are different because users are required to give self-reports about themselves, such as: background, interests, and characteristics desired. Then their answers are processed and then are provided with compatible matches. Some of these sites have “behavioral or social scientists to assist in the matching process”, but these sites have a higher monthly fee than first generations (Finkel et al. ).

The second generation also involves genetic based website where users send in their saliva to get biological compatibility; however, these people will be charged more because the more someone wants the more it will cost. Although, those dating websites have had a major impact on dating, a more modern form has emerged being the third generation, involving cell phone dating apps. Where up to 7 percent of online daters have gone on a date using this type of connection (Smith et al. ).

The main target for dating apps are “Americans in their mid-20s through mid-30s… and becomes] non-existent for people in their mid-forties and beyond” (Smith et al. ). Dating apps now have the capability of having a location based dating app that allows people to know the location and availability of people. Facebook, Baddoo, and Tinder are all popular apps that let users instantaneously know their availability. These dating apps are free to use; however, if users want further features available to them, they are to pay additional fees, helping the company’s market. Each of the dating websites have their own way of attracting people.

PlentyOfFish has about “145 million monthly visitors” and states that “you are not going to find any other site that has more singles looking to meet new people” (Finkel et al. ). While other websites such as eHarmony state that “there services [are] superior to dating offline” and that it “delivers more than just dates” (Finkel et al. ). While OkCupid states that they “use math to get you dates”; these are all different slogans used to attract more users to their dating website while getting more profit for their company (Finkel et al. ).

Traditionally, the man asks the woman out on a date and lets her know about the time and location. He then proceeds to pick her up, if not rejected by the women, take her to the date, pays for the bills and takes the woman back home. However, an online relationship has a different pattern and different ways of handling the situation. The article called “First Comes Love, Then Comes Google: Uncertainty Reduction Strategies and Self-Disclosure in Online Dating” by Jennifer L. Gibbs, Nicole B. Ellison, and Chih-Hui Lai explain some of the difficulties in an online relationship.

Whether it is online or offline dating, communicating and information-seeking plays a key role because this is how uncertainty is resolved (Gibbs et al. ). Obtaining an immediate answer through online dating can be challenging and untrustworthy since physical observations are diminished. Due to this, participants must verify the statement and see how credible the other person is. However, there will always be some type of barrier between two online daters because not everything will be shared and there can only be so much that the partners can do through the internet or app.

There are features available now so verify the characteristics of people through apps like Skype, Facebook, Facetime. All of these apps could be used; however, there must be an agreement between both parties in order to meet the person. According to Berger and Calabrese, in a traditional relationship upon initial interactions the partners prefer symmetric disclosure; while in an online relationship partners prefer asymmetric information exchange (Gibbs et al).

This is because rejection has a greater impact when being face-to-face rather than simply messaging the other person that there was no compatibility or simply not answering them anymore. Women have different roles than man in a traditional date says Carolyn Bradshaw, Arnold S. Kahn and Bryan K. Saville in the article “To Hook Up or Date: Which Gender Benefits? ” (Kahn et al. ). Their role is a “reactive role” to what they man’s behavior is throughout the day while having “veto power” to his decision making (Kahn et al. ).

They choose to accept or reject the man to a date; as well as in an online date the woman chooses to reply or not. Yet, more and more women are starting to take initiation of a conversations with a man; however, this does not change the way traditional dating functions. On contrary, man play an “active role” in a traditional date because they are the “initiator and decision-maker” of most relationships (Kahn et al. ). This article states that the woman is only expected to “look nice and be pleasant” by attending a date and waiting to be adored. While the man has to plan the activity, and pay for the expenses of the date.

However, many argue that women are starting to become more independent on a date and wanting to pay for themselves and engage in planning activities (Gibbs et al. ). Packaging and editing of a profile to create an impression on others With an increase in technology more people are susceptible to being involved in a fraud. In the article Real-World Dangers in an Online Reality: A Qualitative Study Examining Online Relationships and Cyber Abuse by Faye Mishna, Alan McLuckie and Michael Saini inform the audience, mostly children and youths’, about online interactions and experiences of cyber abuse.

Research shows that students who communicate with people whom they already know has a positive impact on their relationship and friendship (Mishna et al. ). However, it is not always someone they know, but a stranger who may become a threat to them. There are several different forms of threat, some involving cyber abuse, cyber bullying, sexual solicitation, and stalking.

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