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Online Dating Technology -  Why Lie?

Online Dating Technology - Why Lie?

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Before getting to first base, you'll have to get past the database. A new online dating study proves that both men and women lie in they're profiles. Why? I thought this would be a good time to take a look at the world of online dating, one I've visited and quickly left... ok I ran screaming.

Researcher Jeffrey Hancock, Ph D, of Cornell University's department of communication, and his fellow researchers found that 81 percent lied in their online profiles about height, weight, and/or age.

The lies generally weren't whoppers, but they also weren't innocent little "opps", according to the online daters' own confessions. Basically, the daters tried to make themselves sound good, but not unreasonably good. As Hancock's team put it, "participants balanced the tension between appearing as attractive as possible while also being perceived as honest."

Tell me sweet little lies (Tell me lies, tell me, tell me lies) Oh, no, no you can't disguise - Fleetwood Mac

The daters were evenly split between heterosexual men and women with profiles on at least one of four popular dating web sites: Match, Yahoo Personals, American Singles, and Webdate.

First, the researchers asked the daters how accurately they had reported their height, weight, and age in their online dating profiles.

Next, the researchers measured the daters' actual height and weight. They also checked the daters' age on their driver's licenses.

The study shows that weight was the most common fudge factor, followed by height and age. Now this is where I take out my soap box and start telling people that age, height and weight (within healthy quantities) should not matter. It's also where I would proclaim my love for pastas smothered in rich pasta sauce, enchanting desserts and silliness educing martinis.

The Fibber Statistics

Weight: nearly 60 percent inaccurate by 5 or more pounds

Age: Nearly 19 percent different from the age on they're license

Height: 48 percent inaccurate by more than half an inch. On average a third of an inch different in height. Oh yea, "I would have never have went on a date with you if I know you were 1 /3 inches shorter."

Age: 3 years younger to 9 years older. On average, five months different in age than their profiles claimed. There's a big difference between saying your 18 and being 17... Like a minimum of three years in jail difference.

Fortunately, most daters' online profiles weren't very far from reality. People realize that that eventually, they would meet someone face to face who had seen their profile. Nevertheless, there were a few extreme lies where people listed a 35-pound difference and an 11-year age difference.

"This may be one reason that people believe lying is so rampant in online dating, especially since these extreme lies are more likely to be circulated," say the researchers. The study will be published in April's edition of Proceedings of Computer/Human Interactions.

Anther survey sponsored by Engage a Web site where singles invite family and friends to play matchmaker said that more men than women, 30 percent vs. 19 percent, think untruths are OK. Unturths? I believe those are called ummm, I think , don't tell me I know this one, Oh I know, lies!?

Other outrageous lies or fabrications from online daters include:

  • Sending a picture of someone else
  • Outdated photos and saying this is what they currently look like.
  • Retouching photos (Guilty again)
  • Income was at 21 percent primary subject of dating lies.

Online dating profiles seem harmless, but not too long ago a lawyer in California used a woman's misleading online photograph as the basis for an attack on her character in a child custody dispute.

Joelle Kaufman, a vice president with Engage, said that both women and men who took the survey said that they feel pressure to present themselves as younger than they really are. Which is a big loss for the shallow; I'm having more fun in my thirties than I ever did in my twenties. I'm more confident, I understand more of what I want in life and I don't feel pressured to be what society tells me I should look like, which in turns makes me unique. All of this combined is an automatic shifter keeping the bad nuggets away from me.

Bad experiences can be measured in thousands and some people online lie so drastically that there are web sites that warn other online daters such as Don't Date Him Girl. The website is where someone can go to gripe about they're latest date.

Online dating and matchmaking still shines bright in the night for daters. New and improved date and matchmaking websites is growing rapidly, and the intense competition is forcing high-speed changes in the kinds of services that are offered. In 2001 online dating was a $40-million business. In the future of 2008 that figure is expected to break $600 million, with more than 800 businesses, competing for every single (and separated) person left available.

Andrew Fiore, a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies online dating, proposes that in a few years daters will be able to add physiological signs to the experience. As if we need to make profiles any more difficult. I can see the new physiological added profiles already

Male Seeking Female 32 160 lbs 6'0
Seeking someone with a heart bpm (beats per minute ) rate no greater than 75

Despite countless bad experiences, there has been success amount the net. Dating & match making websites are adapting to the wants of daters. A dating website called True conducts criminal and marital background checks on all of its members.

Engage, allows members to bring friends and family with them online, to prowl profiles and than match them up. Thinking in purely stereo typical family scenarios, can you picture your mother picking your dates? I would wear out a lot of shoes.

At Engage, members can also rate the politeness of their dates, as well as the accuracy of the profiles. This is the new "community" approach to online matching is supposed to introduce a more natural social setting to dispel the current negatives of cyberspace dating. The next step in online dating is said to be "virtual dating" ...already being developed by the likes of M.I.T. Media Lab.

Researchers Frost, Ariely and Harvard University's Michael I. Norton recently reported that people who had had a chance to socialize with each other (by computer only) on a virtual tour of a museum before they had a face-to-face meeting experienced a more successful 'in person' meeting after having a virtual one. Virtual dating does take care of the safety concerns that prevent many people from meeting potential partners or stalkers in person.

So I could dump them virtually without ever having to meet them in person? I'm in!


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