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Self-presentation in the online dating environment.
Rene Madill (author)Peter MacMillan (Thesis advisor)University of Northern British Columbia (Degree granting institution)
Master of Education (MEd)
Number of pages in document: 99
This study explored the world of Internet dating. It examined how daters presented themselves and formed impressions of others online with a particular focus on the accuracy of the online presentations. Five men and women who were currently dating online were interviewed and observed. In addition, one participant's observations prior to and after meeting another participant online were obtained. Participants reported that Internet dating was a great way to meet people but a difficult method of determining compatibility without meeting in person. Relationships that began on the Internet were continued offline only if the daters experienced chemistry in person. Deception was expected due to the nature of the medium (e.g., the lack of non-verbal cues), but the deception that was encountered was small in scale. All the participants claimed honesty in their presentations, but they misrepresented themselves in small, unintentional ways. Overall, the online impressions differed from the reality but not significantly enough to be a concern. Deception appeared to be no more rampant on the Internet than it is in everyday life.