Computer mediated communication online dating

computer mediated communication online dating

Despite the popularity of online dating sites, little is known about what Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Volume 20, Issue 1. Women are less likely to think online dating is for desperate people Through computer-mediated communication (CMC), users can. ferences in the use of online dating platforms and to explore the extent to which Western-based theories of computer- mediated communication (CMC) and the.

The hyperpersonal perspective Walther, is frequently employed to examine self-presentation and impression formation in mediated communication contexts. The perspective suggests that online communicators are able to utilize the asynchronous and anonymonous nature of mediated communication to craft messages that represent selective, and often overly positive, self-presentation Walther, As a result, communicators are prone to developing hyperpersonal relationships that reflect increased intimacy relative to FtF communicators.

Although not developed with this context in mind, the perspective provides potentially important clues regarding the role of self-presentation and self-disclosure in online dating.

Online daters often utilize profile names or first names only, which provides a sense of disconnection and security from their offline identity. This sense of anonymity might provoke users to share more information than they would if interacting in the offline world. That said, online dating sites enable even greater levels of perceptual ambiguity because individuals must utilize text and photo-based communication to describe aspects of their identity that would be readily apparent in the offline world Ellison et al.

As a result, daters often indicate their identities are somewhat malleable; they can pick and choose which aspects of their past, present, or ideal future selves to display on their profile. Participants in Ellison et al. Indeed, the authors concluded that the profiles serve as a promise, meaning that daters operate under good faith that FtF encounters will not reveal significant differences from a person's profile. Daters in Gibb et al. In fact, the authors concluded that honesty is negatively correlated with online dating self-presentation such that disclosing honest yet negative information can hinder daters' ability to attract potential partners.

What is CMC? #WVUCommMOOC

According to Heino et al. Despite the potential for dishonesty and strategic misrepresentation, most online daters possess the goal of establishing a meaningful offline romantic relationship.

computer mediated communication online dating

Those who engage in blatant misrepresentation were said to hurt their chances at forming an offline romantic relationship. In sum, it appears that online daters might engage in strategic misrepresentation to cultivate positive yet realistic impressions that will not provoke distrust if they were to meet a partner in person Ellison et al.

computer mediated communication online dating

Despite this growing body of research, considerably little work has attempted to understand the dynamics of online dating once partners shift toward offline interaction.

Whereas initial online communication helps daters verify basic information and coordinate an offline encounter, the first FtF meeting provides important cues that enable them to establish the veracity and attractiveness of each other's physical world identity. Questions remain, however, regarding which factors affect dater's experience of relational communication upon meeting FtF.

Modality Switching and Online Dating One of the most unique affordances of online dating is the ability to determine compatibility levels with potential partners through online interaction before deciding whether to meet them FtF Finkel et al.

One must consider, then, how this type of meeting might alter the outcomes of online dating relationships. One applicable approach for examining the online dating process is through the occurrence of MS. Ramirez and Zhang investigated whether the timing of a switch influences relational outcomes such as intimacy, task-social orientation, and social attraction.

computer mediated communication online dating

Drawing upon the hyperpersonal perspective Walther, and online partners' tendency to engage in selective self-presentation, the authors speculated that switches would be most beneficial when they occur before partners have had time to form idealized impressions.

Overall, the findings showed that FtF meetings between previously online-only partners can either enhance or dampen relational outcomes depending upon the timing of the switch. Switching from mediated to FtF early after 3 weeks in an association appeared to provide cues that enhanced relational outcomes.

Conversely, switching from mediated to FtF late after 6 weeks provided cues that contradicted existing impressions and dampened relational outcomes. MS has also been examined using an expectancy violations theory Burgoon, framework to investigate how social information gleaned i.

Online Dating, Communication and Intimacy: Surprising Findings

Ramirez and Wang revealed that modality switches can provide information that violates a person's expectations regarding their partner and their potential relationship; however, this effect was also contingent upon the timing of the modality switch. Specifically, individuals in short-term associations evaluated violations as positive and uncertainty reducing. However, participants in long-term associations reported violations as negative and uncertainty provoking. Although these results pertain to dyads with the goal of task completion rather than romantic involvement, similar trends might emerge for online daters who switch to a FtF modality.

Online dating sites can encourage relationship development and intimacy, but users must carefully navigate the online to offline transition. The authors speculated that daters would experience the most positive outcomes when they move toward FtF relatively quickly. Indeed, meeting FtF might provide daters with impression-enhancing information that develops the relationship in a positive manner.

However, a tipping point likely exists to the extent that daters who wait too long before meeting FtF may risk developing idealized impressions that will be violated upon meeting FtF. The potential for this is particularly likely in the online dating context, given that daters are prone toward making small and strategic self-enhancements on their profiles e.

Such claims are consistent with the experimental MS research discussed above. One primary difference between the current study and previous tests of the modality switching perspective is that prior research e. When the participants finished, the surveys were collected.

computer mediated communication online dating

Participants could tear off and keep the attached debriefing statement. Results There were four scales used in the analysis. All scales were summations of the relevant survey items normalized to the unit interval [0, 1].

The first two scales belonged to the entire data set. Values closer to unity indicated higher dating anxiety, whereas values closer to zero indicated lower dating anxiety. Values closer to unity indicated higher comfort with online communications, whereas values closer to zero indicated less comfort with online communications. The latter two scales belonged to the subset of online daters.

Values closer to unity indicated higher online dating usage, whereas values closer to zero indicated lower online dating usage. Values closer to unity indicated a propensity for a faster modality switch, whereas values closer to zero indicated a slower propensity. The main hypothesis for this study was that those with lower dating anxiety would tend to spend less time before meeting somebody face-to-face that they first met online.

Therefore, among online daters, those with lower dating anxiety tended to have a propensity for faster modality switching than those with higher dating anxiety.

This hypothesis was that those with low dating anxiety would be more active in online dating. Therefore, anxiety scores revealed no information about online dating usage. Alternatively, the rich-get richer hypothesis was explored as a difference in anxiety scores among those that used online dating and those that did not.

Inconsistent with this hypothesis, an independent sample two-tail t-test Welch corrected degrees of freedom revealed a significant difference between online dating site users and non-users, t However, these two samples had means contrary to what was tested.

A third hypothesis was that dating anxiety would be negatively correlated with comfort using online communications. Having low dating anxiety did not indicate anything about comfort with online communications in this sample.

Discussion This study found that dating anxiety was negatively correlated with the speed of a modality switch. Those with low dating anxiety tended to indicate a propensity for switching modes of communication more quickly than those with higher dating anxiety.

The data did not show any evidence that how much people used online dating services or how comfortable they are with the requisite mode of communication were in any way related to their dating anxiety. The failure to support previous research on the rich-get-richer hypothesis may be a result of the data and scale involved.

Online Dating and Computer-Mediated Communications | Bryan Goodrich -

The correlation test between dating anxiety and online dating usage was infected with few degrees of freedom from the small number of online dating users that participated. Both of these may have contributed to why this study failed to support previous research regarding this hypothesis. There was no evidence that dating anxiety was related to comfort with online communications. This hypothesis was informed by intuition regarding the way dating anxiety is characterized as having comfort with face-to-face communications.

Had a scale for comfort with general communications been established, then an examination of how dating anxiety related to both of these scales could have been investigated to show if there was a difference in comfort between the modes of communication. However, lacking such a baseline, the conclusion is simply a product of the data. The baseline is assumed part and parcel with the dating anxiety scale.

Both of these scales exhibited acceptable reliability. Possibly there could have been alternative ways the survey captured the notion of comfort. As it stood, frequency and self- reported comfort comprised the scale.

The idea being that experience is comfort.

computer mediated communication online dating

More items focusing directly on comfort may have better captured the construct. This study was limited in a number of key areas mentioned previously.

Convenience sampling of community college students involved a biased population to the general populations used in other studies. While developing a weighted sample out of the current data to improve the external validity of these results escapes the scope of this study, it does suggest observed patterns or unsupported conclusions may be due in part to this bias.

For instance, the most active online daters tend to be an older population. Among the online daters in the sample that reported their age, they had a higher median age. Thus, not seeing the rich-get-richer hypothesis supported by this data may be due to the restricted sample used.

This study still reveals areas for future research. An important factor in this finding is timing. The positive feelings from online to face-to-face meetings only carried over to face-to-face meetings when the couple met within three weeks of the on-line communication. It may be that the relationship needs to move fairly quickly from online to face-to face to validate and build on the positive feelings that have been generated.

Take Home Messages These findings underscore the value of and even potential benefits of online dating as a preface to in-person meeting and dating.

They invite more research and generate some take-home messages. Enjoy your online exchanges; but move what feels like an attractive and positive on-line connection to an in-person meeting as soon as possible. If it is real, the intimacy will not only carry over, it will continue to build.

You want a wonderful, real relationship not just a virtual one. There is something about online exchanges, affirming texts, self-disclosures and positive attributions that fuels intimacy.

Fifteen years and three kids later that special, funny, sexy or appreciative text is likely to keep the intimacy going!