Deception in Internet Dating – Why?

Jessie looks at Ed’s photo online, sees his height listed as 5’7” and sniffs, “That means he’s 5’5”.”  She has an equally quick assessment of another guy wearing a hat in his photos.  “Bald,” she says.  Sara admits that she always puts, “a few pounds” over on her profile although she is clearly more than that.  Fittingly, Scott insists that he will not contact a woman without seeing a full length photo because, “women always lie about weight”.  Meghan has decided that she will not mention her children online and Jakob has a similar plan;  he doesn’t tell the women that he dates that he has a 12 year old daughter he has never met.

After the online communication, e-mails, phone calls, in person meetings aren’t any more truthful. Susan waits outside the coffee shop or restaurant until she sees the guy go in and then, if she doesn’t like what she sees, she disappears.  Allison’s date had told her that he was a “document specialist” and after inquiring more closely, she realized that he photocopied papers for a law firm.  It takes courage to date online.

Certain deceptions were more common than others. Men lied more about their height and women lied more about their weight. Inaccuracies are intentional in the quest for love.

Deception on the Internet is the rule rather than the exception.

I suspect that many factors encourage deception, including:

1. There are few repercussions (i.e. you do not see prospective dates in the dorm, church or office the next day)

2. Anonymity allows lowered social responsibility, proved repeatedly in research. Sitting in your room on a computer is detached. The social rules that apply to colleagues, acquaintances and friends of friends, don’t apply to unnamed, unseen strangers.

3. The post/photo/print encourages the feeling that you have only this one chance to catch a person’s eye so you have less confidence that repeated exposure to your personality will the viewer over.

4. Men and women have nothing inherently in common other than wanting to date.

5. The vast internet world encourages users to think that there is an endless supply of people available.

6. No third party, like your best friend, is around to validate your date’s personality or credentials. roulette online

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