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The Internet is one of the most commonly known technological phenomenons. In the past decade, it has provided people with a completely new way to view a of different things.
One of these things, in specific, is courtship. Online dating, a recently popular trend that is expanding more and more each day, has completely altered the way in which people find partners. However, many have wondered why it is that someone must search online for something that is traditionally enacted in face-to-face communication? Why do we feel the desire to use a search engine to find our soul mates instead of going out and doing it ourselves?
This essay addresses the common stereotypes that are often associated with online dating including dating anxiety and myths that some are "incapable" of dating Searching 4 a friend ltr old fashioned way. Furthermore, it studies how these online sites combat the stereotypes through their various forms of advertisement, including television and the Internet. Age, Sex, Location? Internet usage among Americans has sky rocketed over the past decade. While the use of this form of technology has provided an endless of advances for this generation, one of their most important aspects is its ability to revolutionize communication.
These types of applications allow people who are geographically separated to communicate instantly. Furthermore, it provides communication for people who may not be far apart, but who want to talk at that moment.
Because of the Internet, communicating with loved ones or friends is easier than ever. However, this advancement has taken a noticeable toll on dating and intimate relationships. Before, meeting in person and spending time together was the primary way to date and get to know someone in Western cultures. However, the Internet has transformed this drastically. A very popular example of this is online dating sites.
In a research study performed by Patti M. Valkenburg and Jochen Peter, Searching 4 a friend ltr seven percent of American Internet users who are looking for a romantic partner have looked to these sites That being said, online dating may be viewed as a common route for singles across America. Yet, because it differs from traditional dating in such a drastic sense, there has been an association of several negative stereotypes. Despite the negative appearance, online dating popularity continued to soar, and today is one of the top industries in the cyber world.
Nonetheless, the stereotype is still latched to the overall trend. How have these sites combated such intense discrimination? The most obvious answer would be that these sites often produce meaningful. Furthermore, recent studies are suggesting that online daters are no different than traditional daters, with normal levels of anxiety and no apparently different characteristics. In order to spread the word of success, online dating advertisements focus heavily on appearing culturally acceptable.
Through television commercials and the enhancement of the companies' webs, online dating sites are trying harder than ever to diminish these negative stereotypes. The history of love and dating goes back further than anyone has recorded. According to evolutionary theorists, love existed even in the prehistoric ages Mahfouz et al.
Dating, however, seems to be a more recent practice. During prehistoric times, the most important symbol was fertility. Through natural selection and Darwinism, humans tended to bond with other humans who ensured a healthy, living offspring Mahfouz et al. Much later, in the more recent centuries, courtship was based upon social status, wealth, and sometimes physical attractiveness. Today, these characteristics remain important, as well as the newly prioritized idea of connectivity on a more personal level.
Today more than ever, personality is a key trait when people are looking to be in an intimate relationship Mahfouz et al According to Mahfouz et al. They continue by noting that socially interactive technologies have only added to this practice, explaining that:. In such cultures, impersonal communication through such means as telephone, cell phones, text messaging, s, chat rooms, message boards, and webcams initially started out as viable tools to meeting the demanding ends of fast-pace modern living.
Such impersonal communicative avenues, however, evolved from being mere means to an end to an end in themselves, where individuals could satisfy their emotional and psychological needs for interpersonal relatedness and sexual desires virtually and sometimes even anonymously somewhere on the web Specifically, they show the influence and recent popularity of using socially interactive technologies to date.
The most intriguing aspect of dating though technology can be seen on internet dating sites. As predicted by Mahfouz et al. Furthermore, it predicted that this revenue would increase by ten percent throughmaking it the third fastest growing category behind only filmed entertainment and digital music par 2. EHarmony, one of the United States most popular sites, has mind-blowing s to accompany their success. Given these types ofthere are two very obvious statements that can be made: one, that a tremendous amount of people use online dating and two, that there is strong evidence that it actually works.
Evidence such as this is the ultimate testament that online dating is a legitimate practice, and also that it is not as uncommon as many would like to think. However, at the outset there were many doubts that accompanied the phenomenon when it first emerged. One would think that the overwhelming success of online dating sites would crush any negative images immediately. Yet today, over fifteen years after the establishment of online dating, that first impression still lingers. It is not uncommon for people to feel embarrassed about their online dating habits, and some even lie when they are asked how they met their partner.
A prime example of the negative view upon online dating is demonstrated in a parody performed by a popular comedy show, MadTV. This video is intended to mock and judge people who use the Internet as a way to find a spouse or date. The actors tell of how they met in Searching 4 a friend ltr, and sarcastically refer to it as something that no one seems to do anymore. In addition, the advertisement is judging online daters based on the notion that it is culturally unacceptable, and that traditional dating—the form in which people meet in person—is the only genuine way to meet someone.
Despite the seemingly embarrassing views that accompany online dating, there are also several studies that suggest that individuals who have strong dating skills and high self-esteem are just as likely to use online dating sites.
This same study continued to test this hypothesis by surveying adult singles. Valkenburg and Peter placed the online community into based upon personality, explaining that. Not ironically, these mirror what one would expect of the offline community. However, public scrutiny has made it very difficult for online dating advertisers to demolish negative outlooks and spread the word about positive studies.
Through the extensive practice of rhetorical techniques—logos, ethos, and pathos—online dating sites battle these overbearing stereotypes. An example of how online dating sites employ the rhetorical strategies mentioned above can be seen through an analysis of the following commercial for eHarmony. The commercial focuses on two specific people, Joshua and Tanyalee. As the ad continues, a brief amount of text tells that Joshua and Tanyalee were married in July of By giving these details, the advertisement establishes rhetorical ethos for eHarmony because it makes the site appear reliable, trustworthy, and effective.
Evidently, Joshua and Tanyalee got married after they met through eHarmony, the ultimate supporter and reminder to the viewer that the site works. Focusing on only one couple is an extremely strong tactic, as it allows Tanyalee and Joshua to really describe the process in which their relationship bloomed. This creates an inner longing in viewers, one that reaches for a compatible Searching 4 a friend ltr that will make them equally or even happier than Joshua and Tanyalee.
Not only this, but it prompts viewers to envision themselves in the same place as Joshua and Tanyalee, in the same scenario where the viewer is instead finding their perfect match. There is nothing hectic going on, they appear financially stable, and have the time and desire to search for a compatible partner. Furthermore, neither appears desperate, and are in fact portrayed as strong, independent individuals who were merely ready to have someone important in their lives.
Neither expresses any type of anxiety or nervousness about the fact that they met online. It is clear that one of the primary functions of the television advertisement is to ensure that online dating is a culturally acceptable phenomenon. The television advertisement shows that the goal of online dating companies is to leave a lasting—and more importantly positive—impression. This goal is reinforced in the layout of the actual site. Thus, online dating sites enforce a of rhetorical techniques parallel to those used in their television advertisements to lure in potential customers, subsequently making them feel they are making a choice that is neither embarrassing nor unordinary.
The first picture, belonging to eHarmony. Notice how the most prominent image is that of a man and a woman who appear to be interacting in a happy, flirtatious way. Moreover, this technique is repeated throughout all eHarmony advertisements, as it was seen in the television commercial as well. This prompts viewers to believe that Searching 4 a friend ltr are seeing real life stories about individuals, proof that the service works.
Also, repetition ensures that the viewer will remember these small details. Specifically, at the time this image was captured the site was doing a promotion over the weekend—one offering a free search—to focus on attracting new users. In fact, the entire appeals primarily to new and potential users. The entire left side is dedicated to searching for a match for a first time visitor. By giving a small but sufficient amount of questions to answer, the rhetorical use of logos is enforced; logically, it is simple and easy to fill out these few, quick questions and then see what follow.
For those who are already members, a small link is provided in the top right corner. They are attractive, young, and appear to be in a satisfying relationship. The next picture is of the home for Match. Similar to the eHarmony home, the attention of the viewer is fist diverted to the left, where there is an image of an attractive, cheery woman lying in the grass.
With this strategy, Match. A potential user may be more inclined to choose Match. Furthermore, the woman is surrounded by an area that appears suburban, appealing more specifically to middle and upper class Americans. While the ad ensures that male visitors will be pleased, it uses a logical approach for women as well.
They create scenarios that induce fantasies and images of the happiness that follows once the site has matched a couple. Similar to the eHarmony home, Match. The only part of the that is oriented towards members is a small link in the upper right corner. This proves that the main purpose of online dating homes is to advertise and hopefully sell their services. The goal of online dating advertisements and websites is to make it appear as if lots of individuals do it and it is an acceptable practice in American society.
A noticeable trend among online dating site advertisements is that they strive to appeal to both women and men of a certain age group and of certain characteristics. Because, logically, a majority of singles appear to fall in the age group of 18 through 35, this is the primary demographic focus of the advertisements.
Furthermore, each advertisement tells of attractive, unique, or—as seen in the television commercial—independent individuals who were simply ready to take the next step in their lives.
The combinations of all of these characteristics help to ensure that potential users will feel as if online dating is a normal thing. So, the real question is whether the efforts of Searching 4 a friend ltr advertisements have had any effect on the overall outlook of online dating.
As ly stated, there have been a of studies that support a growing trend in online dating and even claim that it is not a last resort for many users. An online article which debates the potential embarrassment that comes with online dating blatantly states:.
Furthermore, certain studies argue that of the million eligible singles—those who are above the age of eighteen—nearly twenty million are using online dating. Therefore, an estimated one out of every seven singles are using an online dating site McMenamin par Additionally, the of users is predicted to increase, which means that the ratio will only decrease as time progresses. When looked at in a logical way, online dating seems like a normal practice.
Thus, is has become clear that the typical stereotype that once accompanied online dating is nothing short of a myth. While it may have been a plausible idea in the past, online dating is entirely too common for such an argument to stand today. It is predicted that over time, success stories will continue to spread, which will further deplete the idea that online dating is only for strange, desperate people, and encourage it as a common practice in this technology savvy twenty-first century.
Human Behavior McMenamin, Jim. Embarrassed-to-Admit-to-Using- Online-Dating? Mitchell, Robert L. Thompson Reuters, Inc. Search form Search.
Popular Tags politics. Kandis Morgan. : Social Science. Abstract: The Internet is one of the most commonly known technological phenomenons. Article: Age, Sex, Location? Dating, in a Nut Shell The history of love and dating goes back further than anyone has recorded. They continue by noting that socially interactive technologies have only added to this practice, explaining that: In such cultures, impersonal communication through such means as telephone, cell phones, text messaging, s, chat rooms, message boards, and webcams initially started out as viable tools to meeting the demanding ends of fast-pace modern living.
An Increasingly Popular Method The most intriguing aspect of dating though technology can be seen on internet dating sites. Valkenburg and Peter placed the online community into based upon personality, explaining that …the extraverted make more friends online than the introverted; the nonlonely communicate more frequently on the Internet than the lonely; and those low in dating anxiety are more likely to turn to online dating than those high in dating anxietySearching 4 a friend ltr
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