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The answer to the first question uniqueness is yes, and the answer to the second question superiority is yes and no. To understand how online dating fundamentally differs from conventional offline dating and the circumstances under which online dating promotes better romantic outcomes than conventional offline dating, we consider the three major services online dating sites offer: Regarding the uniqueness question, the ways in which online dating sites implement these three services have indeed fundamentally altered the dating landscape.
In particular, online dating, which has rapidly become a pervasive means of seeking potential partners, has altered both the romantic acquaintance process and the compatibility matching process.
For example, rather than meeting potential partners, getting a snapshot impression of how well one interacts with them, and then slowly learning various facts about them, online dating typically involves learning a broad range of facts about potential partners before deciding whether one wants to meet them in person. Turning to the superiority question, online dating has important advantages over conventional offline dating. For example, it offers unprecedented and remarkably convenient levels of access to potential partners, which is especially helpful for singles who might otherwise lack such access.
It also allows online daters to use CMC to garner an initial sense of their compatibility with potential partners before deciding whether to meet them face-to-face. In addition, certain dating sites may be able to collect data that allow them to banish from the dating pool people who are likely to be poor relationship partners in general. On the other hand, the ways online dating sites typically implement the services of access, communication, and matching do not always improve romantic outcomes; indeed, they sometimes undermine such outcomes.Accidental American: Kent J. from Burley, ID
In addition, the ready access to a large pool of potential partners can elicit an evaluative, assessment-oriented mindset that leads online daters to objectify potential partners and might even undermine their willingness to commit to one of them. It can also cause people to make lazy, ill-advised decisions when selecting among the large array of potential partners. In particular, people tend to overinterpret the social cues available in CMC, and if CMC proceeds unabated without a face-to-face reality check, subsequent face-to-face meetings can produce unpleasant expectancy violations.
As CMC lacks the experiential richness of a faceto-face encounter, some important information about potential partners is impossible to glean from CMC alone; most users will want to meet a potential partner in person to integrate their CMC and face-to-face impressions into a coherent whole before pursuing a romantic relationship.
Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the
Part of 4 the problem is that matching sites build their mathematical algorithms around principles—typically similarity but also complementarity—that are much less important to relationship well-being than has long been assumed. In addition, these sites are in a poor position to know how the two partners will grow and mature over time, what life circumstances they will confront and coping responses they will exhibit in the future, and how the dynamics of their interaction will ultimately promote or undermine romantic attraction and long-term relationship well-being.
As such, it is unlikely that any matching algorithm that seeks to match two people based on information available before they are aware of each other can account for more than a very small proportion of the variance in long-term romantic outcomes, such as relationship satisfaction and stability.
In short, online dating has radically altered the dating landscape since its inception 15 to 20 years ago. Some of the changes have improved romantic outcomes, but many have not. In short, online dating has radically altered the dating landscape since its inception 15 to 20 years ago. Some of the changes have improved romantic outcomes, but many have not.
We conclude by a discussing the implications of online dating for how people think about romantic relationships and for homogamy similarity of partners in marriage and b offering recommendations for policymakers and for singles seeking to make the most out of their online dating endeavors.
From the Jewish shadchan immortalized in the musical Fiddler on the Roof, to the khastegari customs of Iran, to the arranged marriages still prevalent in parts of Southeast Asia, there is a tradition—millennia old—of romantic relationships arising not only from chance encounters between two individuals but also from the deliberate intervention of third parties Coontz, For most of those millennia, the resources available to these third parties remained the same: In the modern age, the desire to find a romantic partner endures, as does the sense that doing so can be challenging.
But the resources available for meeting these challenges have changed, and many of these changes can be traced to the invention, spread, and now ubiquity of the Internet. Every domain of contemporary life, from commerce and politics to culture, is now touched by the Internet in some way.
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- Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective
With respect to forming romantic relationships, the potential to reach out to nearly 2 billion other people offers several opportunities to the relationship-seeker that are unprecedented in human history. Second, whereas interaction between potential partners once depended on their proximity to each other, the Internet now facilitates nearly instantaneous communication via multiple channels i.
Recognizing the unique possibilities afforded by the Internet, numerous commercial Web sites have arisen to provide these services to users seeking romantic relationships. Specifically, the past 15 to 20 years have witnessed the development of Web-based companies that specialize in providing some combination of: To attract customers, online dating sites typically emphasize two aspects of the services they offer.
Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the
First, they emphasize that their services are unique to dating through the Internet; that is, the sites are offering a service that cannot be duplicated in any other way. Presumably that claim refers not only to other Web sites but also to other venues where single people gather to meet, such as bars, parties, churches, or libraries.
Second, online dating sites emphasize that forming relationships using their services is superior to dating offline. The implication is that eHarmony possesses knowledge about relationships that most people lack and that applying this knowledge will lead to more favorable relationships than subscribers would experience without this knowledge.
The OkCupid Website also implies access to knowledge unavailable to the layperson with s Corresponding Author: