Dear Ellison, Heino, and Gibbs,
After reading your article about online dating, I must say that I agree with most of your sentiments. I also found the topic to be very interesting, because I think there are many parallels between strategic presentation in the virtual dating world, and anywhere else(like face-to-face).The desire for a long term relationship can often largely influence a person's decision-making in terms of how they present themselves online. This doesn't seem to be too far from the initial face-to-face dating process, where despite the inability to really influence appearance once together, people will still pick up on different cues and depending on how these cues are perceived, will act accordingly. Knowing this, I found it especially interesting that in the online dating world the cues given off in online conversations were largely important factors, particularly when judging the accuracy of which people described themselves. Nancy Baym also highlighted this as a big issue within the online dating world, and it is easy to see why people would fib about their appearances, since it bolsters their chances of finding a better mate. Also deeper rooted issues may also be behind these discrepancies, since often times people have a skewed image of themselves which may drastically differ from how others see them. Therefore as noted in the Baym article, many people experience these large discrepancies, yet for a myriad of reasons. This makes the online dating world complex, and admittedly one which is begging for a lot more research and studies to be done. The social stigmas attached to the dating world are always going to be changing, particularly since it is still so relatively new.