Online dating sites provide an easy way for scammers to target individuals seeking a partner by creating fake profiles. After these scammers gain the trust of the single individual, they will ask for money for a specific reason and then delete the profile. Online dating also poses the issue of lack of effort and commitment in the relationship due to the myriad of choices in partners.
Some people who use online dating sites may misrepresent themselves in order to seem more appealing to potential partners. Individuals must be cautious when using dating sites due to lack in security of personal information. In conclusion, online dating is an effective means of meeting new individuals or a life-long partner.
Individuals must learn how to successfully use the proper dating sites in order not to be scammed. Even when using legitimate sites, the potential for connecting with a misrepresented or fake individual is an apparent risk. Online dating can be effective as the introduction to a relationship before meeting the person in real-life.
Individuals can get to know a person and then go on a date with that person; however, online dating should only be the beginning of a relationship and not be continued for a long period of time. Even more interesting is the issue of privacy and security.
Gibbs remarked that security issues were the most important factor that influenced uncertainty reduction behaviors Gibbs et al, , p.
Basically, the extent to which URT applied to the results was based on security issues. As users were concerned with who they were communicating with, they engaged in more information seeking strategies. There were also other notable results. In addition to information seeking behavior, users also tended to utilize warranting reducing uncertainty and overcoming security concerns.
This could be accounted for by the fact that within the realm of online dating, the users intend to develop FtF relationships over time. Indeed, this increased the overall use of uncertainty reduction strategies. Consequently, these warranting practices mean that security was a major issue. As expected, users who engaged in these strategies tended to disclose more personal information to the other user.
Moreover, contextual clues were also used to reduce uncertainty and find out about the potential mates they were communicating with. Thus, although visual cues were not there and users were communicating randomly, similar principles of URT still did apply.
Users not only disclosed more information as they used more strategies, but they also tended to value privacy concerns more. In fact, the issue of privacy is one of the major differences from CMC within other social networks like Facebook. Gibbs also remarked that because users do not have access to mutual friends as they would in Facebook, considering potential partners required a much more in depth process of reducing uncertainty Gibbs et al, , p.
Indeed, predicting the level of self disclosure that users participated in was directly correlated to the privacy-related concerns of online dating sites.
Thus, since URT strategies mitigated these concerns, many users who reported success in online dating engaged in these strategies quite often.
Consequently, we can see that while the Facebook environment is different from online dating sites, users still engaged in similar strategies, albeit in different levels of intensity.
Gibbs also reported that although higher self-disclosure in online dating led to greater perceived success, her findings suggest that there are numerous key distinctions in the type of self-disclosure that was utilized. As users have a choice as to what information they divulge, they can monitor the image that they project on potential partners.
Interestingly, users did not always portray themselves in the most positive light as originally anticipated. In fact, while many users reported to be frankly honest for negative traits, this was detrimental to the perception of the other person. This was accounted for by Gibbs with the hypothesis that users anticipated a future FtF interaction and did not want to take the risk of being caught lying Gibbs, , p.
Self Presentation success, on the other hand, was attributed to positive self disclosure. In relation to URT, we see that users who perceived successful relationships did in fact disclose more information as the interaction went on.
However, the type of disclosure was the major distinction. Users who portrayed themselves more positively experienced more success in contrast to users who were more honest with negative characteristics.
Drawing on early research from Berger and Calabrese , information seeking and predictability are strategies that helped people reduce uncertainty about people they meet in person. Moreover, Gibbs et al also argued that since users tend to divulge information at the same rate as the other person, more open communication is the result of successful strategies that have reduced uncertainty about the other person. In a demographic context, Gudykunst argued that there were no major differences in how both men and women reduced uncertainty.
However, research papers did suggest that blacks tended to practice more interrogation than whites. Despite unflattering research about how the internet fostered a hostile environment, the development of online relationships was quite common.
Many of these even eventually led to a FtF interaction. As visual cues were absent, users improvised by offering textual cues like smileys. This made the overall impersonal experience much more humanesqe. As users interacted more, their level of uncertainty decreased. Furthermore, URT was also supported by the fact that respondents claimed that they could predict the behavior of their Facebook friends whom they interacted with the most.
In terms of online dating, sites like eHarmony were devised with scientific principles of human interaction in mind. Their Guided Communication process allowed for introductions based on compatibility criteria.
Communication was also heavily mediated and private so that users could carry out their uncertainty reduction strategies with ease. Because privacy and security were primary concerns, users tended to utilize uncertainty reduction strategies to get to know their matches. For instance, users tended to disclose more information as the other person divulged theirs. Another common practice was warranting, or using third party tools like Google searches, other friends or the internet in general to find out more about their potential partners.
This information seeking strategy also heavily supported URT. Finally, users who used these strategies tended to have more success in developing better relationships. However, it is important to note that the type of information shared was also important in online dating success.
According to Gibbs , users experienced higher levels of perceived success when only positive information was disclosed. This was most likely true because users that interacted with one another anticipated a FtF encounter in which their lies would potentially be exposed. As technology has forced how we communicate and find mates to change rapidly, classical theories on interaction like URT still apply.
Even with the absence of visual cues, users within a controlled environment still tended to exhibit behavior similar to FtF interaction. Most notably, information seeking strategies and disclosure based on mutual openness were highly consistent trends. This suggests that even though we communicate in different contexts, the same basic premises still apply. People still use relevant cues and specific strategies to reduce uncertainty and decide if they want to pursue interaction with individuals.
Finally, the help of mediated environments like eHarmony and Match. Retrieved April 15, , from http: Communication Teacher, 24 3 , Communication Research, 38 1 , Communication Research, 33 2 , A first look at communication theory 7th ed. Journal of Black Studies, 18 2 , Making Friends in Cyberspace. Journal of Communication, 46 1 , Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 3 2 , This blog post is provided free of charge and we encourage you to use it for your research and writing.
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