- Research into online dating | Education | The Guardian
- Online Dating & Relationships
- Couples, the Internet, and Social Media
Dr Jeff Gavin, a psychology lecturer at the University of Bath , has researched the social science behind the sites. His study centres on computer-mediated communication CMC — how we talk and relate to people through computers and the internet. We also tend to ask more questions online, and give more intimate answers, than when communicating face-to-face. So we make up for the 'missing' information like facial expressions.
Gavin wanted to find out more about how people develop relationships online, so he decided to compare the experiences of members of UK and Japanese online dating sites. The two cultures presented interesting contrasts because in Japan, he says, social context plays a much bigger role in communication. Being too explicit or upfront can actually lead to negative impressions. By contrast, communication in the west is more dependent on content — we express ourselves explicitly through what we say.
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Around the world, online dating is based on the western model of communicating, so I wanted to explore how Japanese daters overcome that," he explains. He then compared the results with studies of similar sites in the UK.
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The findings reveal an intricate minefield of location-specific online etiquette. Although we associate Japanese culture with being very technically savvy, Gavin's research showed that the Brits are ahead when it comes to online dating. That means people tend to surf dating sites in public places like on the train, which has helped them become socially acceptable. Also, the sites tend to have fewer photos, but I don't think that's due to less of an emphasis on looks — it's simply that more pictures don't fit on phone screens.
In the UK, where internet dating has now been around for more than 10 years, Gavin says the days of secretly logging on to an account are also over. I don't think that ever happened in huge numbers, but it has certainly declined now. People invest a lot of time and money in online relationships, and there's an expectation that you're going to meet up quite early on, so there's not a lot of point in lying.
Also, younger people have grown up with the internet as a normal part of life, so on- and offline distinctions are less clear cut.click here
Research into online dating | Education | The Guardian
But that doesn't mean today's online daters don't carry out any character embellishments in their profiles. Gender differences also come into play. While many different types of people go online to date — and they do it for multiple reasons, our study also asked people about what they get up to when they are dating online, in order to understand the potential security implications. The profile is understandably a crucial part of online dating.
It allows users to share snippets of their lives. It acts as a window, or a preview of a person, enticing others to reach out to them or find out more. Is the profile crucial to the success of online dating? But is profile information secure?
We found that a worrying number of online dating users are, through their profiles, placing sensitive information about themselves into the public domain, which could potentially lead them to harm if the information was to fall into the wrong hands. All of this information, in the wrong hands, can be used to track online dating users and their families online and offline, to crack their accounts by guessing passwords, for blackmail, and more. That, of course, is not always a safe or a good thing.
However, there is a disparity between men and women.
When it comes to personal information, men are ready to share information about themselves much faster than women are. Despite the high proportion of people who use online dating services or apps, there are several factors that can put users off. People might turn to online dating for fun and to strike up new relationships, but ironically our study shows that a large number of people lie in the process, and this in itself is off-putting.
Among those that admitted they lie during online dating, the most popular things to lie about include their names, marital status, location and appearance — such as by showing fake photos.
Online Dating & Relationships
Either way, people faking it is one of the most hated aspects of online dating. So, why are people lying online? But other reasons vary from people trying to catch their partners cheating, to trying to make themselves look better, or simply lying for the fun of it. With people lying for a variety of reasons online, safety, naturally, becomes something that we should question. With online dating so prevalent, users are clearly giving strangers access to their lives, which could perhaps be why those who date online have concerns about their online safety. Meanwhile, older age groups have slightly different concerns.
The data suggests that men put themselves at risk more than women. In addition, around one-in-ten have had their device hacked, have had their data infected, shared, or become the victim of financial fraud. However, the study also shows that people are not protecting themselves properly when they are dating online.
So, there is an awareness and certain level of concern about the dangers involved in online dating. This just needs to translate into action. Today, people are time-poor, and we rely on our digital devices to help us manage our schedules, our busy lives, and how we interact with others. Digital devices act as a window to the rest of the world, including our relationships. This is even more the case where online dating is concerned.
Couples, the Internet, and Social Media
This form of striking up new relationships is entirely dependent on our digital platforms or smart devices. People are, because of online dating, literally carrying their dates around with them in their pockets. While this comes with a large amount of convenience, it also comes with its own risks. Online dating, indeed, requires the exchange of a certain level of information which, if placed in the wrong hands, can be misused.