Dear Ellison, Heino, and Gibbs,
I have to start out by mentioning that one of my fellow classes is researching this very subject for her project! I also find this topic very interesting. I do however wish your article was more up to date because 2008 in the online dating world is ages ago. In the last year online dating has spread to mainstream and I would be interested to see the new statistics. That being said online dating is still a relatively new phenomenon. I grew helping my mom create her online dating profiles and recently met my girl friend on one. It has changed the way we interact with one another and how as you said is how 2 out 5 couples meet now. In your article you acknowledge that there is a fine line people walk on when giving a self representation. You find that in this situation many participate in self enhancement behavior. However readers expect this. If you were asked to make a profile of your self for people you are potentially dating, would you not include the best aspects of yourself? Most people do not outwardly lie; they are planning to meet the people they interact with. I think it is more they want to make the best presentation possible to represent themselves to get an initial response, everyone knows to take it with a grain of salt. Even Baym agrees with that.
Baym gives a positive outlook on these new online relationships. She understands how they can mutually beneficial. My own experience does slightly contradict Ms. Baym’s opinion though. I did not experience the over fear of deception she describes. In fact I found that I was able to be more honest and myself when first talking to my girlfriend online because I didn’t have the same pressures of feeling judged. Anonymity gives security. Some people lie but with the huge success rate of online dating I feel others must be must making the same type of strong relationships as I did. I think that face-to-face interactions are needed to make the connection into a loving relationship, but I feel that a strong bond can be created in initial conversations online.