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Self-Esteem in Online Dating,Self-Esteem in Online Dating

The final score consists of the sum of all items and can vary between 10, which indicates a low level of self- esteem, and 40, which indicates a high level of self-esteem. To measure the use Managing Impressions Online: Self-Presentation Processes in the Online Dating Environment Download Free PDF. Download Free PDF. Managing Impressions Online: Self AdDating Has Never Been Easier! All The Options are Waiting For You in One Place. Compare Big Range of Dating Sites Today. Find Your Perfect Match Online Now! AdTell visually compelling stories using any of our templates. Try Prezi free for days! End Boring PowerPoints. 85 Million Users Present Better With Prezi. Try It Free! ... read more

Download Free PDF. Managing Impressions Online: Self-Presentation Processes in the Online Dating Environment Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Jennifer Gibbs. Download Download PDF Full PDF Package Download Full PDF Package This Paper.

A short summary of this paper. PDF Pack. Download Download PDF. Download Full PDF Package. Translate PDF. Thirty-four individuals active on a large online dating site participated in telephone interviews about their online dating experi- ences and perceptions.

x Introduction 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. In recent years, the use of online dating or online personals services has evolved from a marginal to a mainstream social practice.

In , at least 29 million Americans two out of five singles used an online dating service Gershberg, ; in , on average, there were 40 million unique visitors to online dating sites each month in the U. CBC News, 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.

John, Although scholars working in a variety of academic disciplines have studied these earlier forms of mediated matchmaking e. 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 , interper- sonal communication, and impression management processes.

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.

Literature Review In contrast to a technologically deterministic perspective that focuses on the char- acteristics of the technologies themselves, or a socially deterministic approach that privileges user behavior, this article reflects a social shaping perspective. Although the notion of circumvention is certainly not new to CMC researchers, this article seeks to highlight the importance of circumvention practices when studying the social aspects of technology use.

These impression-management behaviors consist of expressions given communication in the traditional sense, e. Therefore, if participants aspire to an intimate rela- tionship, their desire to feel understood by their interaction partners will motivate self-disclosures that are open and honest as opposed to deceptive.

Interactants in online environments experience these same pressures and desires, but the greater control over self-presentational behavior in CMC allows individuals to manage their online interactions more strategically. A commonly accepted understanding of identity presumes that there are multi- ple aspects of the self which are expressed or made salient in different contexts. Bargh et al. The relative anonymity of online interactions and the lack of a shared social network online may allow individuals to reveal potentially negative aspects of the self online Bargh et al.

The online dating realm differs from other CMC environments in crucial ways that may affect self- presentational strategies. An empirical study of online dating participants found that those who anticipated greater face-to- face interaction did feel that they were more open in their disclosures, and did not suppress negative aspects of the self Gibbs et al.

In addition, because the goal of many online dating participants is an intimate relationship, these individuals may be more motivated to engage in authentic self-disclosures.

One site, True. com, conducts background checks on their users and has worked to introduce legislation that would force other online dating sites to either conduct background checks on their users or display a disclaimer Lee, The majority of online dating participants claim they are truthful Gibbs et al. For instance, anticipation of face-to-face communication influences self-representation choices Walther, and self-disclosures because individuals will more closely monitor their disclosures as the perceived probability of future face-to-face interac- tion increases Berger, and will engage in more intentional or deliberate self- disclosure Gibbs et al.

Also, online dating participants are typically seeking a romantic partner, which may lower their motivation for mis- representation compared to other online relationships. Further, Cornwell and Lundgren found that individuals involved in online romantic relationships were more likely to engage in misrepresentation than those involved in face-to-face romantic relationships, but that this was directly related to the level of involvement.

This lack of involvement is less likely in relationships started in an online dating forum, especially sites that promote marriage as a goal. Additionally, empirical data about the true extent of misrepresentation in this context is lacking. The current literature relies on self-reported data, and therefore offers only limited insight into the extent to which misrepresentation may be occurring.

Assessing and Demonstrating Credibility in CMC The potential for misrepresentation online, combined with the time and effort invested in face-to-face dates, make assessment strategies critical for online daters. In short, online users become cognitive misers, forming impressions of others while conserving mental energy Wallace, In light of the above, our research question is thus: RQ: How do online dating participants manage their online presentation of self in order to accomplish the goal of finding a romantic partner?

Method In order to gain insight into this question, we interviewed online dating participants about their experiences, thoughts, and behaviors. The survey findings are reported in Gibbs et al. Research Site Our study addresses contemporary CMC theory using naturalistic observations. In their profiles, participants may include one or more photographs and a written open-ended description of themselves and their desired mate.

They also answer a battery of closed-ended questions, with preset category-based answers, about descriptors such as income, body type, religion, marital status, and alcohol usage. Users can conduct database searches that generate a list of profiles that match their desired parameters usually gender, sexual orientation, age, and location. Initial communication occurs through a double-blind email system, in which both email addresses are masked, and participants usually move from this medium to others as the relationship progresses.

We took an inductive approach based on general research questions informed by literature on online self-presentation and relationship formation rather than preset hypotheses. Interviews were semistructured to ensure that all partic- ipants were asked certain questions and to encourage participants to raise other issues they felt were relevant to the research.

Are you trying to convey a certain impression of yourself with your profile? If you showed your profile to one of your close friends, what do you think their response would be? Are there any personal characteristics that you avoided mentioning or tried to deemphasize? In theoret- ical sampling, cases are chosen based on theoretical developed a priori categories to provide examples of polar types, rather than for statistical generalizability to a larger population Eisenhardt, The Director of Market Research at Connect.

com initially contacted a subsample of members in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas, inviting them to participate in an interview and offering them a free one- month subscription to Connect. com in return. Those members who did not respond within a week received a reminder email.

Of those contacted, 76 people volunteered to participate in an interview. Out of these 76 volunteers, we selected and scheduled interviews with 36 although two were unable to participate due to scheduling issues. We focused exclusively on those seeking relationships with the opposite sex, as this group con- stitutes the majority of Connect. com users. We also confirmed that they were active participants in the site by ensuring that their last login date was within the past week and checking that each had a profile.

Their online dating experience varied from 1 month to 5 years. Although our goal was to sample a mix of participants who varied on key demographic criteria rather than generalizing to a larger population, our sample is in fact reflective of the demographic characteristics of the larger population of Connect. Interviews were conducted by telephone, averaging 45 minutes and ranging from 30 to 90 minutes in length. The interview database consisted of pages, including , words, with an average of words per interview.

Data Analysis All of the phone interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and checked for accu- racy by the researcher who conducted the interview. The data analysis process consisted of system- atic line-by-line coding of each transcript by the first two authors.

Coding consisted of both factual codes e. New codes were added throughout the process, and then earlier transcripts were recoded to include these new conceptual categories. All of the data were coded twice to ensure thoroughness and accuracy of codes. The researchers had frequent discussions in which they compared and refined coding categories and schemes to ensure consistency. During the coding process, some codes were collapsed or removed when they appeared to be conceptually identical, while others were broken out into separate codes when fur- ther nuances among them became apparent.

A total of 98 codes were generated by the first two authors as they coded the interviews. Unitization was flexible in order to capture complete thought units.

Codes were allowed to overlap Krippendorff, ; this method of assigning multiple codes to the same thought unit facilitated the process of identifying relationships between codes. See Appendixes A and B for more information on codes. Findings These interview data offer insight into the self-presentation strategies utilized by participants in order to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of online dating.

These strategies are intimately connected to the specific characteristics of the online dating context: fewer cues, an increased ability to man- age self-presentation, and the need to establish credibility.

As suggested by SIP Walther, , subtle cues such as misspellings in the online environment are important clues to identity for CMC interactants. Many of the individuals we interviewed explicitly considered how others might interpret their profiles and carefully assessed the signals each small action or com- ment might send: I really analyzed the way I was going to present myself.

So I put that in there to sort of weed those people out. imdannyboy, Los Angeles Male Participants spoke of the ways in which they incorporated feedback from others in order to shape their self-presentational messages. In some cases, they seemed genuinely surprised by the ways in which the digital medium allowed information to leak out. He said: In the course of [corresponding with others on the site] I became aware of how I had to present myself.

I think it implied. that I was too desperate for conversation, [that] I was a hermit. joet8, Los Angeles Male The site displayed the last time a user was active on the site, and this small cue was interpreted as a reliable indicator of availability. In a self-reflexive fashion, they applied these techniques to their own presentational messages, carefully scrutinizing both cues given such as photograph and, when possible, those perceived to be given off such as grammar.

Balancing Accuracy and Desirability in Self-Presentation Almost all of our participants reported that they attempted to represent themselves accurately in their profiles and interactions. Many expressed incomprehension as to why others with a shared goal of an offline romantic relationship would intentionally misrepresent themselves. At times, their need to portray a truthful, accurate self-representation was in tension with their natural inclination to project a version of self that was attractive, successful, and desirable.

in the sense they would want this other person to like them. their ideal themselves. I think they may not have tried to lie; they just have perceived themselves differently because they write about the person they want to be. In their profile they write about their dreams as if they are reality. Christo1, Los Angeles Male In two cases, individuals admitted to representing themselves as less heavy than they actually were. MaryMoon, Los Angeles Female In this case, a later physical change neutralized the initial discursive deception.

For another participant, the profile served as an opportunity to envision and ideate a version of self that was future-focused and goal-oriented: I sort of thought about what is my ideal self. Because when you date, you present your best foot forward. I thought about all the qualities that I have, you know, even if I sometimes make mistakes and stuff. And also got together the best picture I had, and kind of came up with what I thought my goals were at the time, because I thought that was an important thing to stress.

Marty7, Los Angeles Male Overall, participants did not see this as engaging in deceptive communication per se, but rather as presenting an idealized self or portraying personal qualities they intended to develop or enhance. In order to activate an online profile, participants had to complete a questionnaire with many closed-ended responses for descriptors such as age, body type, zip code, and income.

In fact, the front page of Connect. The structure of the search parameters encouraged some to alter information to fit into a wider range of search parameters, a circumvention behavior that guaran- teed a wider audience for their profile. They are trying to be sort of clever so that people they tend to be attracted to will actually find them.

On the other hand, if I put X number of years, that is unattractive to certain people. Everybody lies about their age or a lot of people do. So I have to cheat too in order to be on the same page as everybody else that cheats. So if I say I am 44, people think that I am It blows. RealSweetheart, Bay Area Male In the above cases, users engaged in misrepresentation triggered by the social norms of the environment and the structure of the search filters.

Foggy Mirror In addition to the cases in which misrepresentation was triggered by technical con- straints or the tendency to present an idealized self, participants described a third branch of unintentional misrepresentation triggered by the limits of self-knowledge.

This is how they really see themselves. In explaining this phe- nomenon, KarieK used the metaphor of a mirror to emphasize the self-reflexive nature of the profile. The difference might be overly positive which was typically the case or negative, as the below example illustrates. So I then widened my scope [in terms of search parameters] and would go off the photographs. In their profiles and online interactions, they attempted to present a vision of self that was attractive, engaging, and worthy of pursuit, but realistic and honest enough that subsequent face-to-face meetings were not unpleasant or surprising.

Establishing Credibility The increased ability to engage in selective self-presentation, and the absence of visual cues in the online environment, meant that accuracy of self-presentation was a salient issue for our interviewees. In an environment in which there were limited outside confir- matory resources to draw upon, participants developed a set of rules for assessing others while incorporating these codes into their own self-presentational messages.

For example, one participant made sure that her profile photograph showed her standing up because she felt that sitting or leaning poses were a camouflage technique used by heavier people. This illustrates the recursive way in which participants developed rules for assessing others e. Profile photographs communicated not only what people looked like or claimed to look like , but also indicated the qualities they felt were important.

For instance, one man with a doctorate included one photo of himself standing against a wall displaying his diplomas and another of him shirtless. When asked about his choice of photos, he explained that he selected the shirtless photo because he was proud of being in shape and wanted to show it off.

To summarize, our data suggest that participants were cognizant of the online setting and its association with deceptive communication practices, and therefore worked to present themselves as credible. In doing so, they drew upon the rules they had developed for assessing others and turned these practices into guidelines for their own self-presentational messages.

Discussion The primary goal of the online dating participants interviewed for this study was to find someone with whom they could establish a dating relationship although desired commitment level and type of relationship varied across participants. Given this, they attempted to achieve their goals while contending with the unique characteristics of the online environment, engaging in strategies designed to circumvent the constraints of the online dating environment while exploiting its capacities.

One constraint—the lack of nonverbal cues—meant that the task of interpreting the remaining cues became paramount in regards to both assess- ment of others and presentation of self. Since the goal of most online dating participants was to identify and interact with potential romantic partners, indi- viduals strove to highlight their positive attributes and capitalize on the greater per- ceived control over self-presentation inherent in the medium. However, the future face-to-face interaction they anticipated meant that individuals had to balance their desire for self-promotion with their need for accurate self-presentation.

Our find- ings suggest that participants consistently engaged in creative workarounds cir- cumvention strategies as they went through the process of posting a profile, selecting individuals to contact, and communicating with potential romantic partners. Our data also highlight the recursive process by which some partic- ipants constructed rules of thumb for assessing others e.

Previous laboratory studies of SIP have tended to focus on the manipulation of a subset of cues. Exploring the question of whether participants created a playful or fantastical identity online Stone, ; Turkle, or were more open and honest Rubin, , we found that the online dating participants we spoke with claimed that they attempted to present an accurate self-representation online, a finding echoed in our survey data Gibbs et al.

This study highlights the fact that creating an accurate online representation of self in this context is a complex and evolving process in which participants attempt to attract desirable partners while contending with constraints such as those posed by technological design and the limits of self-knowledge. In some cases, the technical constraints of the site may have unintentionally enabled acts of misrepresentation, for instance when participants slightly altered information in situations in which they felt an arbitrary data point in age, for example would significantly harm their chances of being discovered by a potential mate.

Additionally, self-reported descriptions that use subjective terms e. In the case of online dating, it may be that the default settings in the search field i.

The ideal self refers to qualities or achievements one strives to possess in the future Bargh et al. In the realm of online dating, it is interesting that participants reported using the profile to ideate a version of self they desired to experience in the future. For some, the act of constructing an online profile may begin a process of self-growth as they strive to close the gap between actual and ideal self, such as the woman who misrepresented her weight but then was able to achieve her goal of weight loss over time.

Future research is needed to assess the extent to which this phenomenon exists and its long- term consequences for processes of self-growth. More research is also needed to understand fully whether strategies designed to circumvent constraints technical or other are perceived to be deceptive by users and, if so, which norms govern their use. Future research could work to develop a taxonomy of online deception and acceptability, which takes into account the nuances of social norms and the fact that some misrepresentation may be uninten- tional or socially accepted.

Practical Implications Given that deceptive practices are a concern for online dating participants, future research should explore the ways in which online dating sites could implement design features aimed at addressing these issues. A second design consideration is the possibility that the technical characteristics of some online dating sites may privilege objective characteristics such as demo- graphic features and de-emphasize the process of seeing others as individuals rather than as amalgams of various traits.

Participants acknowledged that the online dating environment placed more emphasis on certain kinds of information—information that might not be very important in a face-to-face setting when chemistry was already estab- lished. To compensate for or to circumvent these constraints, participants tried to create profiles that stood out or evidenced aspects of self that they were particularly proud of rather than a laundry list of features.

They struggled to present themselves as unique individuals within the constraints of a technical system that encouraged homogeneity, negotiating a desire to stand out with the need to blend in. Future research might examine the potential for developing self-presentation tools that allow individuals more nuanced ways of expressing themselves in the online envi- ronment, such as video presentations, more sophisticated communication tools, or triangulated information from others on the site.

Limitations We chose to conduct interviews with online dating participants in order to gain insight into how they perceived their experiences and the processes through which they learned to avoid the pitfalls and exploit the possibilities of online dating. However, there are several limitations that should be acknowledged in our method and sample. Limitations of this study include the sampling of only participants located on the West Coast.

While Connect. com members are worldwide, we cannot assess if regional or national differences affect the online dating experience. A major limitation is the potential for self-selection bias, as participants volunteered for the study. While demographically diverse, those that chose to volunteer might be biased toward a more positive outlook on online dating or potentially more honest in their online dating practices.

In addition, the self-reported nature of the data may have resulted in a social desirability bias, making participants less likely to admit to intentional misrepresen- tation.

Finally, many of our findings may be specific to Connect. Future research could assess whether variables like self-efficacy predict which model users choose to utilize. From a historical perspective, the goals of online dating participants are not that different from those described by poets throughout the ages.

What is different is the tools in their repertoire and the constraints and opportunities they present. This study has attempted to elucidate and explain some of these social practices as a window into the ways in which new communication technologies are shaping us—and we are shaping them—in the ongoing pursuit of romantic relationships. Prior CMC research has identified similar processes in interpersonal contexts.

Formal intermediaries in the marriage market: A typology and review. Baertlein, L. Demand for advice to online lovelorn is booming. What makes an online relationship successful? Clues from couples who met in cyberspace. Can you see the real me?

Journal of Social Issues, 58 1 , 33— Berger, C. Beyond initial interaction: Uncertainty, understanding and development of interpersonal relationships. Clair Eds. Baltimore: University Park Press. Some explorations in initial interaction and beyond: Toward a developmental theory of interpersonal communication. Human Communication Research, 1 2 , 99— Berger, P. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge.

New York: Irvington Publishers. Bowker, N. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 8 2. html Brym, R. Love Online: A Report on Digital Dating in Canada. pdf Buller, D. Deception: Strategic and nonstrategic communication.

Wiemann Eds. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. CBC News. Online Dating Facts and Figures. html Coffey, A. Making Sense of Qualitative Data: Complementary Research Strategies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Cornwell, B.

Love on the Internet: Involvement and misrepresentation in romantic relationships in cyberspace vs. Computers in Human Behavior, 17 2 , — DePaulo, B. Research procedure The tools were put together in Google Forms, and each participant completed the form online. The forms were distributed online and were open for a month, and the only eligibility criteria were the age, which had to be between 18 and 30 years.

The completion of the questionnaire took approximately 15 min. Out of the total number of responses we used because some respondents did not meet the eligibility criteria. Results For the statistical analysis of the database related to this study, we used the program SPSS Statistics V Preliminary descriptive analysis Six hundred three participants completed the study tasks.

Of the total number of participants, 12 did not fall into the age range 18—30 years and were eliminated from the statistical analysis. Thus, we reached the number of participants based on which we performed statistical analysis. H1: There is a correlation between self-esteem and the use of online dating platforms.

We performed the Pearson correlation to test whether there is a correlation between self- esteem and the use of online dating platforms. In making the correlation we used the scores from the RSS scale and all the scores from ODI.

Based on this analysis, the hypothesis is not supported, but we made an additional analysis to see if there could still be a relationship between the two concepts when it comes to only those who already use these platforms. Because what interests us is to identify a relationship between the level of self-esteem and the use of online dating platforms, we will perform the same statistical analysis, but only on the group of users of this type of platform.

Thus, we performed the Pearson correlation to test whether there is a correlation between self-esteem and the use of online dating platforms taking into account only participants who reported using such platforms. In performing the statistical analysis, we used the RSS and ODI scores of the platform users. Following the analysis, it was identified that the stated hypothesis is not supported.

Table 1: Descriptive statistics and correlation Variable N M SD 1 2 3 1. ODI RSS 3. By testing the assumptions, we noticed an extreme score on the group of those who do not use online dating platforms, which are why we eliminated the score of a participant from this analysis. We applied the t-test for independent samples to determine if there is a difference between those who use online dating platforms and those who do not when it comes to self- esteem.

According to Skovlund, E. Considering the above information, the differences between these groups are statistically significant t Tabel 3.

Descriptive and comparative statistics between the group using online meeting platforms and the group not using Group 1 Group 2 M SD M SD t According to the results presented in the previous paragraph, the first hypothesis of the study hypothesis H1 was not supported. Therefore, no link was identified between the level of self-esteem and the use of online dating platforms.

This result is in contradiction with the specialized studies presented previously. The results may be different due to different samples of participants. The same difference related to the age of the participants is found in the comparison of this study with the study by Artez et al.

Another aspect that could be related to this contradiction in the results could be the different cultural environment. The research conducted by Kim and colleagues in is on the American population, and the work of Artez et al.

The study by Bleidorn et al. Their results show that men regardless of the country they belong to have a higher level of self-esteem compared to women. Moreover, it has been identified that with age, the level of self-esteem increases and there are significant differences between the level of self-esteem of people under 45 years compared with those over 45 years. Regarding the level of self-esteem for the three countries involved in the discussion, Bleidorn and colleagues identified similar values: the United States and Romania have close averages of self-esteem, and Germany has a lower level but insignificant.

Therefore, due to the particularities of the participants in each study related to age, gender and culture, this difference is observed between our results and the previous ones. Hypothesis number 2 H2 is supported and shows differences between the two groups in terms of self-esteem. In other words, it has been identified that people who use online dating platforms have a lower level of self-esteem than those who do not. In the study by Artez and his collaborators it was identified that there were no significant differences between users of online dating platforms and non-users when it comes to the level of self-esteem.

The reasons for a contradiction in these results are the different characteristics of the samples number of participants, age range, sex distribution and culture. These aspects were explained in the presentation of the results from the second hypothesis. Limits and future directions An aspect of the study limitation is related to the large number of female participants.

Because our sample included only 8. Thus, we cannot say that these results are representative of the Romanian population. Another area of research would include identifying differences between women and men when it comes to psychological issues in using online dating services, such as self-esteem, self- disclosure, motivation to use, loneliness, and the importance of love relationships.

Conclusion As we said at the beginning of the paper due to the fast rythm in which technology occupies a large part of the fields in which we operate, both professionally and personally, an aspect that can be noticed in the growing number of people who use online dating platforms.

These platforms impact the way people form relationships and on the meeting environment Finkel, Also, a second objective was to capture the possible differences between those who use these types of platforms and those who do not when it comes to self-esteem.

Despite the existing limitations, we can also notice the existence of some contributions of this study to the extension of the scientific resources related to this topic. This paper brings new information about users of online dating platforms in Romania. In other words, evidence has been provided that users of online dating services have lower self-esteem compared to those who do not use these services.

The results highlight the characteristics of users of online dating platforms and help us identify the factors that may determine the use of these services in the future. References · Aretz, W. Partner search in the digital age. Psychological characteristics of Online-DatingService-Users and its contribution to the explanation of different patterns of utilization. Journal of Business and Media Psychology 1, Dispositional factors predicting use of online dating sites and behaviors related to online dating.

Age and gender differences in self-esteem—A cross-cultural window. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 3 , — The Influence of Online Dating on Emerging Adults' Levels of Empathy, Objectification of Others, and Quality of Romantic Relationships.

Electronic Theses and Dissertations, , The influence of biological and personality traits on gratifications obtained through online dating websites. Computers in Human Behavior, 49, — Who interacts on the Web? Computers in Human Behavior, 26 2 , — Managing Impressions Online: Self- Presentation Processes in the Online Dating Environment. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11 2 , — Online Dating.

Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 13 1 , 3— Mental Health Education, Agora Psycho-Pragmatica, 2 4 Cyberbulling-ul și sănătatea mentală a copiilor, p. Lile coord. Technology and the future, Actes du 4-e colloque international COMSYMBOL IARSIC-ESSACHESS, 1 4 Deprinderi in Asistenta Sociala, Institutul European. Zece categorii de inconsecvente semantice prezente in limbajul asistentei sociale din spatula romanesc.

Semantic analysis of the dynamics of the social work language applied in Romania, Pro Universitaria. Psychological Characteristics of Internet Dating Service Users: The Effect of Self-Esteem, Involvement, and Sociability on the Use of Internet Dating Services.

Self-Presentation 2. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 13 4 , — The personality, motivational, and need-based background of problematic Tinder use. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 7 2 , — Undergraduate Honors Theses. Love at first swipe? Explaining Tinder self-presentation and motives.

Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Should we always choose a nonparametric test when comparing two apparently nonnormal distributions? Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 54 1 , 86—

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Download Free PDF. Managing Impressions Online: Self-Presentation Processes in the Online Dating Environment Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Jennifer Gibbs. Download Download PDF Full PDF Package Download Full PDF Package This Paper. A short summary of this paper.

PDF Pack. Download Download PDF. Download Full PDF Package. Translate PDF. Thirty-four individuals active on a large online dating site participated in telephone interviews about their online dating experi- ences and perceptions.

x Introduction 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.

In recent years, the use of online dating or online personals services has evolved from a marginal to a mainstream social practice. In , at least 29 million Americans two out of five singles used an online dating service Gershberg, ; in , on average, there were 40 million unique visitors to online dating sites each month in the U.

CBC News, 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. John, Although scholars working in a variety of academic disciplines have studied these earlier forms of mediated matchmaking e.

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 , interper- sonal communication, and impression management processes.

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.

Literature Review In contrast to a technologically deterministic perspective that focuses on the char- acteristics of the technologies themselves, or a socially deterministic approach that privileges user behavior, this article reflects a social shaping perspective. Although the notion of circumvention is certainly not new to CMC researchers, this article seeks to highlight the importance of circumvention practices when studying the social aspects of technology use.

These impression-management behaviors consist of expressions given communication in the traditional sense, e. Therefore, if participants aspire to an intimate rela- tionship, their desire to feel understood by their interaction partners will motivate self-disclosures that are open and honest as opposed to deceptive.

Interactants in online environments experience these same pressures and desires, but the greater control over self-presentational behavior in CMC allows individuals to manage their online interactions more strategically. A commonly accepted understanding of identity presumes that there are multi- ple aspects of the self which are expressed or made salient in different contexts.

Bargh et al. The relative anonymity of online interactions and the lack of a shared social network online may allow individuals to reveal potentially negative aspects of the self online Bargh et al.

The online dating realm differs from other CMC environments in crucial ways that may affect self- presentational strategies. An empirical study of online dating participants found that those who anticipated greater face-to- face interaction did feel that they were more open in their disclosures, and did not suppress negative aspects of the self Gibbs et al. In addition, because the goal of many online dating participants is an intimate relationship, these individuals may be more motivated to engage in authentic self-disclosures.

One site, True. com, conducts background checks on their users and has worked to introduce legislation that would force other online dating sites to either conduct background checks on their users or display a disclaimer Lee, The majority of online dating participants claim they are truthful Gibbs et al. For instance, anticipation of face-to-face communication influences self-representation choices Walther, and self-disclosures because individuals will more closely monitor their disclosures as the perceived probability of future face-to-face interac- tion increases Berger, and will engage in more intentional or deliberate self- disclosure Gibbs et al.

Also, online dating participants are typically seeking a romantic partner, which may lower their motivation for mis- representation compared to other online relationships. Further, Cornwell and Lundgren found that individuals involved in online romantic relationships were more likely to engage in misrepresentation than those involved in face-to-face romantic relationships, but that this was directly related to the level of involvement.

This lack of involvement is less likely in relationships started in an online dating forum, especially sites that promote marriage as a goal. Additionally, empirical data about the true extent of misrepresentation in this context is lacking. The current literature relies on self-reported data, and therefore offers only limited insight into the extent to which misrepresentation may be occurring. Assessing and Demonstrating Credibility in CMC The potential for misrepresentation online, combined with the time and effort invested in face-to-face dates, make assessment strategies critical for online daters.

In short, online users become cognitive misers, forming impressions of others while conserving mental energy Wallace, In light of the above, our research question is thus: RQ: How do online dating participants manage their online presentation of self in order to accomplish the goal of finding a romantic partner?

Method In order to gain insight into this question, we interviewed online dating participants about their experiences, thoughts, and behaviors. The survey findings are reported in Gibbs et al.

Research Site Our study addresses contemporary CMC theory using naturalistic observations. In their profiles, participants may include one or more photographs and a written open-ended description of themselves and their desired mate. They also answer a battery of closed-ended questions, with preset category-based answers, about descriptors such as income, body type, religion, marital status, and alcohol usage.

Users can conduct database searches that generate a list of profiles that match their desired parameters usually gender, sexual orientation, age, and location. Initial communication occurs through a double-blind email system, in which both email addresses are masked, and participants usually move from this medium to others as the relationship progresses. We took an inductive approach based on general research questions informed by literature on online self-presentation and relationship formation rather than preset hypotheses.

Interviews were semistructured to ensure that all partic- ipants were asked certain questions and to encourage participants to raise other issues they felt were relevant to the research. Are you trying to convey a certain impression of yourself with your profile? If you showed your profile to one of your close friends, what do you think their response would be? Are there any personal characteristics that you avoided mentioning or tried to deemphasize?

In theoret- ical sampling, cases are chosen based on theoretical developed a priori categories to provide examples of polar types, rather than for statistical generalizability to a larger population Eisenhardt, The Director of Market Research at Connect. com initially contacted a subsample of members in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas, inviting them to participate in an interview and offering them a free one- month subscription to Connect. com in return. Those members who did not respond within a week received a reminder email.

Of those contacted, 76 people volunteered to participate in an interview. Out of these 76 volunteers, we selected and scheduled interviews with 36 although two were unable to participate due to scheduling issues. We focused exclusively on those seeking relationships with the opposite sex, as this group con- stitutes the majority of Connect. com users. We also confirmed that they were active participants in the site by ensuring that their last login date was within the past week and checking that each had a profile.

Their online dating experience varied from 1 month to 5 years. Although our goal was to sample a mix of participants who varied on key demographic criteria rather than generalizing to a larger population, our sample is in fact reflective of the demographic characteristics of the larger population of Connect. Interviews were conducted by telephone, averaging 45 minutes and ranging from 30 to 90 minutes in length. The interview database consisted of pages, including , words, with an average of words per interview.

Data Analysis All of the phone interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and checked for accu- racy by the researcher who conducted the interview. The data analysis process consisted of system- atic line-by-line coding of each transcript by the first two authors.

Coding consisted of both factual codes e. New codes were added throughout the process, and then earlier transcripts were recoded to include these new conceptual categories. All of the data were coded twice to ensure thoroughness and accuracy of codes. The researchers had frequent discussions in which they compared and refined coding categories and schemes to ensure consistency. During the coding process, some codes were collapsed or removed when they appeared to be conceptually identical, while others were broken out into separate codes when fur- ther nuances among them became apparent.

A total of 98 codes were generated by the first two authors as they coded the interviews. Unitization was flexible in order to capture complete thought units. Codes were allowed to overlap Krippendorff, ; this method of assigning multiple codes to the same thought unit facilitated the process of identifying relationships between codes. See Appendixes A and B for more information on codes. Findings These interview data offer insight into the self-presentation strategies utilized by participants in order to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of online dating.

These strategies are intimately connected to the specific characteristics of the online dating context: fewer cues, an increased ability to man- age self-presentation, and the need to establish credibility.

As suggested by SIP Walther, , subtle cues such as misspellings in the online environment are important clues to identity for CMC interactants. Many of the individuals we interviewed explicitly considered how others might interpret their profiles and carefully assessed the signals each small action or com- ment might send: I really analyzed the way I was going to present myself.

So I put that in there to sort of weed those people out. imdannyboy, Los Angeles Male Participants spoke of the ways in which they incorporated feedback from others in order to shape their self-presentational messages. In some cases, they seemed genuinely surprised by the ways in which the digital medium allowed information to leak out. He said: In the course of [corresponding with others on the site] I became aware of how I had to present myself. I think it implied. that I was too desperate for conversation, [that] I was a hermit.

joet8, Los Angeles Male The site displayed the last time a user was active on the site, and this small cue was interpreted as a reliable indicator of availability.

Managing Impressions Online: Self-Presentation Processes in the Online Dating Environment,Related topics

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Self-presentation in online personals: The role of anticipated future interaction, self-disclosure, and perceived success in Internet dating. Interactants in online environments experience these same pressures and desires, but the greater control over self-presentational behavior in CMC allows individuals to manage their online interactions more strategically. The ideal self refers to qualities or achievements one strives to possess in the future Bargh et al. Daly Eds. The Psychology of the Internet. Out of these 76 volunteers, we selected and scheduled interviews with 36 although two were unable to participate due to scheduling issues. Limits and future directions An aspect of the study limitation is related to the large number of female participants.

Woolgar, S, self presentation online dating pdf. In making the correlation we used the scores from the RSS scale and all the scores from ODI. Self presentation online dating pdf some cases, they seemed genuinely surprised by the ways in which the digital medium allowed information to leak out. I think they may not have tried to lie; they just have perceived themselves differently because they write about the person they want to be. their ideal themselves. Click here to sign up. com initially contacted a subsample of members in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas, inviting them to participate in an interview and offering them a free one- month subscription to Connect.

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