The modern world of dating has evolved drastically over the years in society from face-to-face communication to online dating. Due to the low self-esteem and confidence of individuals online dating has become an easier way for some people to communicate with others. The Pew Research Center shows that about one-in-five online daters are currently involved in a dating site. Online dating is done across multiple mediums, some websites and apps such as Facebook, Tinder, Match.com etc. The popularity of this practice has significantly increased compared to the past. Although in some cases it has brought people together from across the globe; it also has many challenging obstacles that are required to maintain a positive online relationship. This makes it difficult and rare that the outcome of the relationship is successful. The struggles of the participants have to overcome include relational maintenance, self-disclosure, and long distance.
After reading the article from the Pew Research Center I have focused on both positive and negative sides of the realm of online love. More than a handful of my friends use online dating apps and I constantly see them swiping left and right, just based on someone’s looks. In my eyes, that is not a reliable aspect to base someone on, because sometimes people are not who they say they are. Catfishing is one of the most common risks of online dating. It is when someone creates a false identity as they are pretending to be someone who they are not. The person whom is catfishing goes the extra mile to make their victim believe that they are exactly who they say they are. They will upload fake pictures and create a false identity for themselves by not being truthful about their interests, beliefs, and in some cases their gender. Dainton’s study in 2013 focused on relationships between Facebook maintenance and general maintenance efforts in college students’ romantic relationships the study concluded that only 3% of romantic relationships that began on Facebook have had a successful relational satisfaction (Dainton, 2013). This is because the majority of people pretend to be somebody they are not. A large amount of social media-based relationships ends due to the one individual deleting their account and cutting the person off so that they will not have to reveal their true identity. This is an issue mainly because people are not comfortable with who they are. Since they do not have the confidence or self-esteem to carry a face-to-face relationship, they hide behind the screen of their computer. Pretending to be someone they are not may be considered a therapeutic outlet for them, while they are still given the resources to meet others and fill their void. Catfishing occurs so often within online dating that there was a show created about it called “Catfish” on MTV. This show second-handedly allows viewers to watch the online created relationship lead into mixed mode which has the people on the show go from just communicating online to eventually communicating face-to-face.
I personally know someone who has been cat-fished through online dating apps, so I decided to interview him. Looking for love online has helped the LGBTQ community, because it makes it easier for these people to be themselves without being judged. For the sake of the publicity of this post I am not going to post his name. My friend who is a gay man has informed me that he has witnessed people who will go above and beyond to pretend they are someone they are not. “You never truly know who you are talking to online unless you have a confirmed identity” he stated. Since being catfished he now takes immense precaution when using the apps, such as looking the person up on social media, looking at their followers or friend count on socials, and even snapchatting them for clarification of their identity. According to Pew Research 71% of people are lying about themselves to appear more desirable. I am not surprised by that number, because social media is used as a mask for most individuals.
On the opposite side of the negative to online dating, is the positive. I actually know someone from high school who met a man on Tinder, fell in love, and now they are married. This is the first time ever hearing someone I know experience this type of situation. I truly do believe that there are good people out there that are simply just trying to find someone to enjoy life with and fall in love. Since she is the first person, I know that has had this experience, I decided to interview her. I explained this assignment to Claire and had her shed some positive light compared to the negative above. Claire shared that you need to be very careful with who you share your basic information with, even on your profiles. Claire and her current “Tinder husband” both have had negative experiences before meeting each other. She explained that there are indeed diamonds within the rough, but in order to find who you are looking for you need to be safe and always keep an open mind. In reality you are sharing information about yourself with someone who you have never met. In some cases, this turns out wonderfully. I believe that being able to use this resource is incredible, it is almost like online shopping but for love.
In conclusion, there are many negative and positive sides to the online dating world. I have learned that I must be more careful with what I share, and the accounts that I link to my profiles. This will continue to be the way some people fall in love, due to face-to-face communication dwindling. Always focus on your safety, check your facts, and be an honest person. Maybe you will find your diamond in the rough!
DAINTON, M. (2013). RELATIONSHIP MAINTENANCE ON FACEBOOK: DEVELOPMENT OF A MEASURE, RELATIONSHIP TO GENERAL MAINTENANCE, AND RELATIONSHIP SATISFACTION. College Student Journal, 47(1), 113-121. (this is a source I used before when I wrote a research paper on online dating)
https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2013/10/21/online-dating-relationships/ (this is not the same article that I was given)