Deception in Online Dating

Topics: Online identity, Online dating service, Dating Pages: 4 (1298 words) Published: June 6, 2013
Imagine scrolling through a multitude of single people on an online dating site. You find an interesting candidate; their profile catches your attention, their pictures captivate your eyes, and the smooth way they chat with you online keeps you fascinated with their persona. Since your conversation online was always a thrill, it seemed natural to set up a face-to-face (FTF) meeting. When you finally get to meet this wonderful person, who has been roaming through your mind since the first online date, your eyes are appalled to see the drastic contrast of their online and offline self. There is a significant error with the image you had in mind about what they would be like; their appearance is less attractive, their clothes were out of style, they smell and speak repugnantly, and their confidence they displayed online has vanished. This story ends with you running back home completely disturbed with how much deception was present. This situation describes the real problem with finding romance online. Even though the internet provides an efficient and prompt way of networking, those seeking long-lasting relationships should switch off the server. The intimacy between online daters is artificially produced with the internet’s ability to give users more control over presentation of self (Goffman, 1959), misrepresentation, and the deception that comes with these elements.

To begin with, it is essential to recognize how the ability to have control over presentation of self leads to deception. A primary reason why people turn to online dating is because of their control over their impression management (Lawson & Leck, 2006). Portraying confidence, coolness, and character becomes easier online than offline for this reason. The internet allows daters to express an ideal self, as opposed to an actual self. Users of the websites are able to purposefully present themselves a certain way to attract others, and if someone falls for them, they will fall for the deceptive...


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Goffman, E. (1959) Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Anchor.
Henry-Waring, M., & Barraket, J. (2008). Dating & intimacy in the 21st century: The use of online dating sites in Australia. International Journal Of Emerging Technologies & Society, 6(1), pp. 14-33.
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