Tuesday, April 3, 2012

online relationships

Dear Ellison, Heino and Gibbs

The findings in your study Managing Impressions Online: Self-Presentation Processes in the Online Dating Environment were surprising to me. I believe that many people view the Internet as a scary place, especially when it comes to meeting others online. One thing that could have been looked at is if the participants used their full real names. You cover how people presented their identities online, but did not acknowledge the safety and privacy issues some users may have. It seems as though most participants were comfortable with meeting strangers online.

Presenting ones personal identity online can be a challenge in itself. Obviously people want to highlight the positive aspects and downplay the negatives but still present an accurate picture of themselves. Since most users on dating sites are there for relationships, they do plan on having actual face-to-face interactions with the people they meet online. Having an accurate presentation of oneself is facilitated because of this.

In Nancy Bayms chapter “New Relationship, New Self” she discussed the fact that some individuals lie about their age to avoid people not being interested in them based on that number. I believe this can have a negative impact on a relationship in the long run because the partner could feel misinformed. Further they may question the person’s honesty with other things as well. Since you are meeting these people in an online environment, building trust can be especially challenging. To risk the trust that people may build by lying can be detrimental to the relationship.

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