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Research Paper on Online Dating

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❶Thus, interactions on Facebook appear more like FtF communication than meets the eye.

Computer mediated communication: Online dating and uncertainty reduction

Building meaningful relationships online
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Online dating sites provide an easy way for scammers to target individuals seeking a partner by creating fake profiles. After these scammers gain the trust of the single individual, they will ask for money for a specific reason and then delete the profile. Online dating also poses the issue of lack of effort and commitment in the relationship due to the myriad of choices in partners.

Some people who use online dating sites may misrepresent themselves in order to seem more appealing to potential partners. Individuals must be cautious when using dating sites due to lack in security of personal information. In conclusion, online dating is an effective means of meeting new individuals or a life-long partner.

Individuals must learn how to successfully use the proper dating sites in order not to be scammed. Even when using legitimate sites, the potential for connecting with a misrepresented or fake individual is an apparent risk. Online dating can be effective as the introduction to a relationship before meeting the person in real-life. Individuals can get to know a person and then go on a date with that person; however, online dating should only be the beginning of a relationship and not be continued for a long period of time.

Next, it is important to have a basic understanding of how CMC developed and the early schools of thought that analyzed this interaction Parks, While highly pessimistic, Parks offered evidence that online relationships can not only be successful, but can develop into eventual FtF interaction. Sheldon will show that interaction on Facebook offers a wealth of information regarding how we deal with uncertainty within a network where we tend to know most of the individuals in person, or have at least met them on one occasion.

Also, Sheldon will demonstrate that individuals in SNS use specific cues and elements of interaction alongside strategies of URT to predict their behavior. Finally, we will investigate how online dating sites like eHarmony integrate scientific principles of communication and how well they apply to URT. A general view of the process of meeting individuals and how communication is facilitated will be offered by the eHarmony website eHarmony, N.

This will allow us to analyze exactly how applicable URT is to CMC settings and how well the dating service tailors to the different context of communication.

Furthermore, we will look at case studies specific to online dating sites like Match. Gibbs will provide an in-depth study of Match.

Specifically, what strategies are mostly utilized and what cues are critical to the overall interaction. In meeting new people FtF, we tend to engage in behaviors that reduce our uncertainty about the other person. The way in which we reduce this uncertainty is by utilizing the seven factors: This original URT was supplemented by Berger by including that humans tend to reduce uncertainty by utilizing one or all of the three strategies: Of the strategies listed, observing others where the person is likely to act natural is passive while being in direct contact with them is active Twente, N.

An interactive strategy, however, includes communicating with the person directly in an effort to find out more about the person. The interactive strategy of engaging in information seeking behavior is by far the most important aspect of reducing uncertainty.

This means that as we meet new people, we want to find out more about them to reduce our uncertainty about them. However, studies suggest that we are also hesitant to divulge personal information about ourselves so easily. This means that as we are looking for information about others, we tend to only divulge information at the same rate as other people do in FtF communication.

This would make sense as we tend to fear judgment by other people that we do not know as well. There also exist some demographic differences in URT. Moreover, their results did not suggest that gender played a role in using uncertainty reduction strategies Gudykunst, , p.

This means that men and women tend to act similarly in reducing uncertainty in social situations. Essentially, the URT strategy of information seeking was higher in those that were more self-conscious of their behavior.

Other than that, ethnicity and gender did not affect URT in the FtF context that the study was researched within. Next, it is important to understand the early schools of thought and development of online communication.

His literature review argued that this was true because people within CMC settings exert more verbal aggression, blunt disclosure and negative behavior in comparison to groups in FtF settings Parks, , p.

Despite the negative feedback from other scholars, Parks found evidence that online relationships can develop and people can adapt their behavior to account for the missing aspects of interaction, like physical proximity and frequency.

For instance, even in early as , Parks argued that online settings can foster the growth of meaningful relationships, despite the shortcomings of missing cues in FtF communication. Even more surprising is the notion that the relationships that developed online tended to expand to FtF communication over time:. Although nearly all respondents used direct E-mail About a third had used the telephone The average number of channels used was 2.

These findings imply that relationships that begin on line rarely stay there Parks, , p. This research implies that even as early in , the internet and CMC did foster the development of new relationships that eventually extended out of the scope of online interaction.

This had a lot to do with how users managed uncertainty with the tools they had. Since visual and aural cues were not always present, the use of smileys and other improvised cues were used to develop rapport with other individuals Parks, , p. Essentially, the way that people communicated online in involved an adaptation of visual cues to textual ones. By , the growth of online dating sites resulted in services that were tailored specifically to meet the needs to people looking to find relationships online.

These services were designed to facilitate, foster and encourage the growth of successful relations that extended outside of CMC. Indeed, from to , not much has changed in terms of what is possible within the realm of CMC.

While users can share photos, videos and other forms of multimedia, the factors of proximity and physical cues are still not there. Essentially, CMC settings are successful in fostering relationships because visual cues are not requirements of interaction and when they are necessary, textual cues were seen to be comparable alternatives. Facebook relationships thrive on the level of intimacy within self-disclosure.

This means that the more we disclose to others in terms of quality, not so much quality, the more meaningful the relationship becomes. This supports URT because as we disclose more and trust others, we develop stronger relationships. As we develop stronger online relationships, we reduce the overall uncertainty about the other person. Thus, interactions on Facebook appear more like FtF communication than meets the eye. As predictability was also a critical aspect of URT, the evidence would suggest that CMC relationships that developed on Facebook took on the same conventional characteristics of FtF interactions.

Consequently, while the context for communication is entirely different in an online setting, the means and social processes involved in developing friendships was still consistent. However, it is important to understand that Facebook offers an environment where we tend to know most of our connections in person, see their pictures and have the ability to seek out information and context clues from their activity. Therefore, it is also important to study how URT and the strategies apply in CMC when we do not necessarily know or have existing FtF relationships with the other person.

Such a case study is other online dating sites. Neil Warren utilized his 35 years of clinical experience to launch a service that would utilize scientific research on CMC to help people develop meaningful relationships in a safe environment eHarmony, N. Their process uses the following guidelines: Essentially, the important aspects of information seeking behavior are met with this guided communication.

Users can browse profiles based on relevant criteria and a controlled communication environment is there to carefully foster interaction, if any. Luckily, research has been done on behalf of online dating sites to analyze CMC in online dating communities. In this comprehensive study of respondents who use at least one online dating site such as eHarmony or Match.

Even more interesting is the issue of privacy and security. Gibbs remarked that security issues were the most important factor that influenced uncertainty reduction behaviors Gibbs et al, , p. Basically, the extent to which URT applied to the results was based on security issues. As users were concerned with who they were communicating with, they engaged in more information seeking strategies.

There were also other notable results. In addition to information seeking behavior, users also tended to utilize warranting reducing uncertainty and overcoming security concerns. This could be accounted for by the fact that within the realm of online dating, the users intend to develop FtF relationships over time.

Indeed, this increased the overall use of uncertainty reduction strategies. Consequently, these warranting practices mean that security was a major issue. As expected, users who engaged in these strategies tended to disclose more personal information to the other user.

Moreover, contextual clues were also used to reduce uncertainty and find out about the potential mates they were communicating with. Thus, although visual cues were not there and users were communicating randomly, similar principles of URT still did apply. Users not only disclosed more information as they used more strategies, but they also tended to value privacy concerns more.

In fact, the issue of privacy is one of the major differences from CMC within other social networks like Facebook. Gibbs also remarked that because users do not have access to mutual friends as they would in Facebook, considering potential partners required a much more in depth process of reducing uncertainty Gibbs et al, , p.

Indeed, predicting the level of self disclosure that users participated in was directly correlated to the privacy-related concerns of online dating sites. Thus, since URT strategies mitigated these concerns, many users who reported success in online dating engaged in these strategies quite often. Consequently, we can see that while the Facebook environment is different from online dating sites, users still engaged in similar strategies, albeit in different levels of intensity.

Gibbs also reported that although higher self-disclosure in online dating led to greater perceived success, her findings suggest that there are numerous key distinctions in the type of self-disclosure that was utilized. As users have a choice as to what information they divulge, they can monitor the image that they project on potential partners. Interestingly, users did not always portray themselves in the most positive light as originally anticipated.

In fact, while many users reported to be frankly honest for negative traits, this was detrimental to the perception of the other person. This was accounted for by Gibbs with the hypothesis that users anticipated a future FtF interaction and did not want to take the risk of being caught lying Gibbs, , p. Self Presentation success, on the other hand, was attributed to positive self disclosure.


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online dating essaysEmail is an easier way to meet people because there is less stress placed on an encounter. A person can say what they want, how they want, and not have to worry about it being taken the wrong way. A person can also send a picture after they have started talking. Communication.

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