Dear Ellison, Heino and Gibbs,
Because I am not a fan of online dating websites, I found your article very interesting. There were times when I wanted to scream at the screen, and there were times when I would give a standing ovation for some of the points being brought to the table. All and all it was very interesting, but I still believe in the old traditional way of meeting people and dating. In your article you stated "self-presentation and self-disclosure processes are important aspects of relational development in offline settings especially in early stages." When I read this all I heard was "ding ding ding" playing loudly in my head. Although people not that there are positive aspects to online communicating and dating, when it comes to how a person represents and presents themselves, there's nothing like good ol' face to face communication. Through online sites, people can portray themselves as whoever they want to be; look at Second Life for example, people parade themselves around as various creatures, animals and even objects. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with imagination- I have a quite vivd one myself- however the online "you" and offline "you" can be two different people.
In your article I also like how you pointed out people can be more strategic when it comes to how the present themselves in online forms. Through online representation people can dictate and control how much of themselves people see. Refraining and holding back certain aspects of you can't be fully helpful when trying to establish a serious, trusting relationship with someone. I know everyone wants to put their best foot forward, but hiding certain aspects of yourself to make yourself look better is not beneficial for pursuing a relationship. In my opinion, serious cases of dictating how much a person sees only happens online, and not in offline interactions. Through online vehicles people can represent themselves however they want, and in a manner that they feel as though people will gravitate to. This type of action is very deceiving and deceptive.
I'll admit the reason why I feel like this is because it scares me that what you see on the screen might not match what's behind the screen, and also because I watch a lot of Law & Order, however offline interactions are more realistic and not created and contrived as online ones.