Academic articles on online dating

Once stigmatized as rife with deception and desperation, online dating services such as have become popular venues for adults to meet potential romantic partners.Data from the PEW Internet and Daily Live project reveals that 11% of online adults, and 74% of single adults seeking romantic relationships have used an online dating service (Madden & Lenhart, 2006).On a theoretical level, the present study seeks to enhance scholarly understanding of the MS process.Prior research has utilized experimental designs in which participants were randomly paired with a partner and assigned a task to complete (e.g., Ramirez & Zhang, 2007; Ramirez & Wang, 2008).Finkel and colleagues (2012) summarize that online dating sites provide users with three key services: 1) unprecedented access to potential dating partners, 2) the ability to communicate using mediated channels before determining to meet Ft F, and 3) the option of being matched using romantic compatibility algorithms.Sites differ in the specific process through which they seek to facilitate these services.The perspective suggests that online communicators are able to utilize the asynchronous and anonymonous nature of mediated communication to craft messages that represent selective, and often overly positive, self-presentation (Walther, 2007).As a result, communicators are prone to developing hyperpersonal relationships that reflect increased intimacy relative to Ft F communicators.

The results provide support for the modality switching perspective, and offer important insight for online daters.Indeed, 65% of online daters in Whitty and Carr's (2006) study reported arranging Ft F meetings within one week of their initial online encounter.This meeting is important because it provides additional cues that could either enhance or diminish online daters' perceptions of each other (Finkel et al., 2012), and therefore helps daters assess their offline romantic relationship potential (Whitty, 2008).These experiments were designed to mimic the pattern of workgroups formed online and eventually migrate offline, yet ecological validity may have suffered due to the artificial nature of the partnerships and tasks.The present study seeks to remedy this issue by extending the modality switching perspective to the applied and naturalistic setting of online dating partners who elect to establish Ft F contact during their relationship initiation process.As of October 2012, reports that one in five new relationships, and one in six new marriages occur between partners who met using an online dating service.Given its prevalence, researchers are attempting to understand how online dating differs from traditional processes of romantic relationship formation (for a review, see Finkel, Eastwick, Karney, Reis, & Sprecher, 2012).Most research has conceptualized online dating using the frameworks of self-presentation (Ellison, Heino, & Gibbs, 2006; Ellison, Hancock, & Toma, 2011; Whitty, 2008), or self-disclosure/uncertainty reduction (Gibbs, Ellison, & Lai, 2011).This literature provides excellent understanding of the various factors related to impression management and deception/honesty in online dating, yet it is limited to the scope of profile construction and interpretation.As a result, most online dating research has focused on understanding issues of self-presentation and misrepresentation during the creation and interpretation of profiles (Ellison et al., 2011; Toma & Hancock, 2011).The hyperpersonal perspective (Walther, 1996) is frequently employed to examine self-presentation and impression formation in mediated communication contexts.

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