I don’t buy Christian Rudder’s perception of the dating research. To be honest, he sounds like he knows nothing about relationships. He assumes that this conveys racism and I just think it’s not all about racism. Other factors come into play. So what if whites are more “desirable” and they would rather get married to another white person. That doesn’t mean that they “hate or fear” black, Asian or Hispanic people. It does not mean that they are all racist. I don’t think that this shows racism, I think it shows something about behavior, culture, politics, and sexuality, maybe something biological even. “The Big Lies People Tell In Online Dating,” says guys lie about their height; taller guys get more. Shorter girls get more attention. People tend to over exaggerate everything to make them more “awesome.” Chris Morran’s entry is about how OKCupid may give the privilege to attractive users to see other attractive people’s profile. So does OkCupid really give this privilege to attractive users? Or do they use it as a ploy to get dormant users back on?
Online dating profiles show how attraction, trust and deception play into the quest for romance. While the Internet is the ultimate place to pretend to be someone you’re not, it also a place to enhance yourself into a more attractive social being. The painful truth is that we live in a superficial society that classifies through external factors such as class, age and income.“But it's very hard for the casual browser to tell truth from fiction.“ This phenomenon is almost comparable to the misleading qualifications one may be tempted to add on a resume to attract potential employers. You want your resume to stand out in the group. Online daters feel the need to impress in a society that is created by unrealistic media expectations, dating is often portrayed as a competition. Women want men that are tall and wealthy, so men are going to lie about their height and income. Reality TV shows such as the Bachelor and Million Matchmaker portray dating as a contest People are willing to misrepresent themselves. For example, they claim to be Bisexual when in fact they are only interested in an single gender. There are various misconceptions to make yourself more appealing to society and more attractive as a person.
Christian Rudder & Chris Morran articles
Throughout these three articles, the main discussion is the online dating website, OKCupid and the way people represent themselves on the site. Author Christian Rudder, in his article The Big Lies People Tell In Online Dating discusses how in other social network sites, people can lie about who their are and how they look, and no one will ever know. The different with that, and online dating, is that eventually you will meet some of the people that you are interacting with, in person. When you meet someone in person and they are nothing like what they looked like in their photos, you will be very taken aback. When it comes to making an OKCupid profile it is known that men put down a height that is taller than they really are. Rudder also mentions, in How Your Race Affects The Messages You Get, that the race affects not only the matches that you will get, but the replies that one will get to their sent messages. In Chris Morran's OKCupid Is Hiding The Good-Looking People From Us Ugly Freaks I found it to be quite comical that this was actually happening. The quote that Morran picked out, "You will now see more attractive people in your match results," to me, seemed as if it was a level up in a game, or a challenge that the user has one. OKCupid is not a gaming website, but a dating website, so it was funny to be that there was an aspect of this "gaming" type in it because basically in order to be able to see more attractive people, you have to gain a certain amount of popularity.
-- Donielle Gitlin
Northeastern University '12 College of Arts, Media, & Design
The online dating culture has developed into an extremely popular industry recently. As we continue to examine the logistics behind the concept of these websites, it is also interesting to note different statistics of the characteristics in users. In the article, “The Big Lies People Tell in Online Dating,” OKTrends reports on the amount of users who pretend to be someone they’re not. The ironic part about this within a dating website is that the entire objective of the site is to eventual meet someone in person where they will eventually see the real you. It does seen silly to lie by enhancing personal characteristics, but at the same point the results find that most people do this causing a continuous chain reaction. The article found that most people lie about things you would expect such as height, income, dates of pictures, and sexuality. These Internet communities have become so popular recently and I would say one of the main reasons is because people feel like they can be whomever they want without face-to-face interaction. Different social networking sites, virtual community sites, and video gaming worlds are all very popular communities where people interact solely over the web. Dating website were developed to pave the way for people to take the next step and create in person relationships. Insecurities would play a part of these individuals providing false personal information.
Another interesting aspect of the world of online dating is different racial statistics. In the article, “How Your Race Affects The Message You Get,” there are clear results of how individuals race affects dating. When asking the site users to answer questions about preference to dating someone within your own racial background the results were bias in some categories. The survey found that white females strongly preferred to date white men, and white men 40% of the time preferred white females. With the majority of the users being White males and females, there is an unfair advantage. Although, the results also showed that 80% of non-whites didn’t have a strong preference of racial background. In person it seems as though no one would want to admit these facts, but in the world of the web and online dating, anything can be found.
After years of trying unsuccessfully to find the "right" matches in the low lighting, head-banging, drunken filled smokey atmosphere of bars, the idea of online dating is becoming increasingly more appealing. While there are some our age that still gawk when they hear the expression "we met online", more and more of my peers are defending the connections made over the internet as less creepy than dating someone you sized up at a bar and tried to connect with over a sloppy alcohol filled conversation. I do agree with the idea that connections based more on interests lead to easier relationships, but the sizing up we do of partners happens online just as it does in sleazy bars. The pool of people may be smaller, because they also like taking morning hikes and exclusively read enlightening non-fiction about victorian times, but when we get those matches the looks and job are the first things we investigate. If they have the eye catching features and make 100k +, the same interests seem less and less important and the motto "opposites really do attract" becomes your mantra as you hype yourself up to send that message to the person who only came up as a 40% match. Interests only matter if you start a conversation and this knowledge is the reason men lie about their height and wages and women lie about their weight and "hot" photos. The ploy to get users back on Okcupid was to me ingenious as they played on two things all people want more of, attractive people and reassurance that they are themselves attractive. For the ten people that see through it twenty log back on to see if the matches they receive do in fact increase in attractiveness. When I asked a friend if she had received such an email, she said "yes she had" with a sheepish smile and then admitted that it had drawn her back onto the site seeking out those new "hot" people the email had promised to open up. No one wants to admit that online dating is just an easier way to pick out the "hotties" in a new style, devoid of alcohol an face to face rejection.
The internet would not be considered such a stigma if finding someone online had not become such a mediated faux pas. Growing up we we're force fed horror stories about young men and women being lured into the arms of a pedophile while talking online or it being the place where lonely overweight people lie about their photos and have only virtual relationships that again usually end with someone mamed. The portrayal of people who seek companionship online are anti-social, weird, geeky and overall unattractive by societal standards. Although more young people are turning warmer to the idea as people slowly begin to realize that Facebook and twitter have turned the most social people onto online geeky junkies, I have found in most conversations with peers that people are turning onto the practice but can't handle the story that comes out of it. Just as the media has misrepresented the average online dating consumer as an overweight potato-chip eating weirdo, so has it skewed our vision of the "how did you meet!?" story. Seeing the lavish but quirky run-ins of the stars on the romantic comedy screen, to hearing our grandparents lovingly gloat about their first encounter in Germany during the war where they fell in love and eloped in Paris one weekend, makes even the least romantic hesitant to say "we actually met online." Until the stigma of who we perceive to conduct their entire lives online (weirdos) and who actually conducts their lives online (everyone) changes, people will avoid looking for their matches online, even though its easier and more successful for the most part, for the fear that they will have to eventually admit that they met the person of their dreams (gulp) on the internet…
It is no surprise to me that people continuously lie about their appearance, income, and sexual orientation. Today, in an time where sex sells, and idealized bodies are favored and constructed, it is harder and harder for people to be themselves. Now this does not mean that I think that it is ok to lie, but I see how things can be misconstrued. However, it makes no sense to lie, because when that person meets the other, it will be clear. Although it is superficial to hide attractive people from ugly, it somewhat makes sense. I think it is right in saying that more attractive people, are usually matched with someone of their level. This is also not to say that a more attractive male or female could not date someone less attractive. I think what Ok Cupids is really doing, is trying to market more attractive people, that way they can get more users. Like any dating website, their commercials and advertisements always picture and attractive, heterosexual couple. I find it bizarre that one of Ok Cupid tactics to match people is based off of zodiac signs. Call me crazy, but I don’t think that a zodiac sign holds any significance in relationships. At the end of the day, the only way these sites are going to succeed is if personalities match up. They should leave the deceitfulness behind because their site wont produce any revenue if they aren’t being truthful to their users.
On-line dating has social complexities very different than social networking because it is purely based on trying to meet a companion. OkTrends provides original research and insights from the popular dating site, OkCupid. The site has over seven million users and OkTrend’s mission is to “explore the data side of the online dating world.” One conclusion they have made while analyzing response statistics is that the race of members matters. When a successful match is made, response rates have found that black women write back the most, white men get more responses and men don’t generally write black women back. Although there is the same chance for a successful relationship regardless of rates, it is proven that members do take it into account. OkTrend has also discovered popular lies people tell in on-line dating which include:
· Actual height
· Actual income
· Use of old and deceptive pictures
· Identify as bi-sexual when only interested in one gender
Although OkTrends is able to find some vices within the on-line member community, OkCupid has faced some negative turmoil as well. The site sent out an “exclusive” e-mail to a select few saying that they were among the better-looking users and now have access to fellow attractive users. While the brand accuses its members of being somewhat racist and deceiving, they are participating in judgmental and degrading acts.
When choosing to use an on-line dating website, you are automatically making yourself vulnerable to all of the scenarios above. In terms of racism, I do not think that OkTrend can conclude that the users are being unethical. Although someone may have a good “match” I do believe that when searching for love appearance is very important. Some people are more attracted to certain races and while it may be naive to not give everyone a chance, finding a companion is difficult. If someone knows that they wouldn’t be attracted to a particular race, it might be easier to ignore their message in the first place. The vulnerability of on-line dating is really based on the lies that OkTrends points out. It is really difficult to trust an on-line profile, which is the reason why I would be very reluctant to try a dating site. Interestingly, these sites are much more accepted and common. Two married couples in my extended family met on dating websites, have had children together and been successful relationships so far.
While the articles reveal the many discrepancies found throughout the OKCupid dating site, I can’t say that I am surprised because it seems to reflect people’s offline behavior. “The Big Lies People Tell in Online Dating” article lists the various topics users of the website frequently lie about including height, income and appearance. While appearance is not as easily hidden in offline interactions, I think people hold the same values as stated in the article. The article reveals that generally the most attractive someone looks in the picture, the less current it is; therefore emphasizing societies value for eternal youth and invisible aging. With make-up and cosmetic surgery I think the same messages of the importance of looking young and attractive are apparent.
In addition, the false height statements on the website can also be witnessed offline. Due to the belief that “taller people have more sex” (Rudder), and people find taller people more attractive, men are constantly adding on a few inches when asked their height. For men, one reason that they feel it is necessary to be taller is because it adds to their sense of masculinity. On the other hand, the article states that the same trend was found in the analysis of female profiles. This was something that stood out to me because of two explanations I found responsible for the exaggeration. First, I believe women value the “ideal” woman they see in magazines and high-end fashion shows who are all taller. Therefore, if their online admirers think that they are closer to the models they see in the fashion magazines they will be more attractive. Second, I think that online women lie about their height as a way of discouraging shorter males from approaching them. As a female I think one thing we look for is a taller male mate, especially for formal events when heels are required we don’t want to feel like we are towering over them. Therefore, similar to Chris Morran’s article revealing that the dating website is hiding the good-looking people from less attractive users, woman are also weeding out all of the shorter males from their search.
Along with height and appearance, income is also something stated as being embellished. Rudder reveals that in reality “people are 20% poorer than they say they are.” This is one of the less surprising topics because I think people are always trying to make it seem like they have more money. The online profiles only bring their offline fabrications to cyber space interactions.
In reading these articles it is clear that users of online dating websites are more liberal with the ways in which they describe themselves. This can be seen in the data showing that men have a tendency to portray themselves as taller in order to appear more attractive. This is similar to scenarios in which both women and men decide to use especially flattering photos of themselves, trying to look younger, thinner, prettier etc… All of these actions show how users tweak their identities online in order to appeal to more people. People get comfortable due to the level of anonymous-ness that their profile allows them to have. Because they are in complete control of their profile, no one else can know about their possible distortions of the information that they are posting. Users develop online identities and these become the ways in which they identify themselves to other online daters. For example, an obese, average looking woman can post a picture of herself as if she were skinny. Through this new picture she could portray herself as a sexy, thin woman and even be chosen to be within the elite attractive group on OKCupid. Because media allows online daters to develop specific online identities, information is distorted.
In reading these articles it is clear that users of online dating websites are more liberal with the ways in which they describe themselves. This can be seen in the data showing that men have a tendency to portray themselves as taller in order to appear more attractive. This is similar to scenarios in which both women and men decide to use especially flattering photos of themselves, trying to look younger, thinner, prettier etc…
All of these actions show how users tweak their identities online in order to appeal to more people. People get comfortable due to the level of anonymous-ness that their profile allows them to have. Because they are in complete control of their profile, no one else can know about their possible distortions of the information that they are posting. Users develop online identities and these become the ways in which they identify themselves to other online daters. For example, an obese, average looking woman can post a picture of herself as if she were skinny. Through this new picture she could portray herself as a sexy, thin woman and even be chosen to be within the elite attractive group on OKCupid. Because media allows online daters to develop specific online identities, information is distorted.
I’m not really sure where to begin with these articles. The OKTrends data reveals how people respond and send messages to people of other races. The data also reveals the extent to which people lie, or exaggerate, about personal information on their profiles, such as income levels or height. And the Morran article reports how OKCupid ranks their users’ level of attractiveness, and grants the people in the upper echelon access to other attractive users that have been ranked highly.
Although I know that our culture should be progressive enough to not care about things like race when looking for love, I also understand to a certain extent why it may matter for some people. Now I definitely think it’s completely wrong to discriminate and dismiss potential mates just because of their race. And I truly believe it’s all about compatibility with another person. However, some times race/ethnicity is more of a cultural thing and that can be a big part of being compatible with some one. For example, I’m Jewish. And I know to a lot of Jewish parents especially, they want their children to marry other Jews. And that’s a cultural thing.
I also see how most people are inclined to lie on a social dating site. Although it is not necessarily anonymous, while trying to gain the attention of others, and without having met them face to face before putting the information out there, it would be easy to lie to make yourself seem more appealing. Afterall, everybody puts their best foot forward on any online site for their personal profiles. But with that said, I think it’s totally wrong for OKCupid to only allow the most attractive users access to the other most attractive users’ profiles. If they were really dedicated to creating meaningful relationships, everybody should have access to everybody else’s profiles! It’s kind of funny, but like in a I can’t believe they really do this, its kind of sick and twisted kind of way.
The classic saying “opposites attract” doesn’t seem to hold true on OkCupid.com. The majority of online dating sites match couples based on their compatibility, and help individuals find each other through their common interests. The article found that men and women lie on sites such as OkCupid.com, which does not surprise me at all. Individuals are defined only by their personal information rather than who they are in real life because of the information that is listed on their profile. Online dating sites appeal to individuals because they are able to control how they are portrayed to others. The article found that members of dating sites lied or exaggerated: their height, their financial status, their photos, and their sexual orientation. I thought it was interesting that they did not address whether individuals lied about their current weight or their age on their profiles. I would never create a dating profile through OkCupid.com because I think that people use it to rate someone they potentially are interested in. Individuals are judged only by how they compare to others, and their physical traits are emphasized over their personal attributes. The article discussed how individuals felt that they needed to conform to society’s definition of beauty which led some men to claim that they were on average 2 inches taller than they actually are. Online dating sites and the internet in general allows individuals to lie or exaggerate about themselves which affects their image. Facebook is another example where individuals can manipulate how they are seen by others.
Online dating is somewhat unfamiliar territory for me, I say somewhat because I think (well I know) when my friends and I turned 18 we set up a free profile on Match.com to “see what was out there”. It was kind of like a right of passage, like seeing R rated movies or buying lottery tickets. We closed our profile down shortly there after for fear we’d run into one of our parent’s friends or some creepy stalker like we heard about in the news.
I found Christian Rudder’s frank sense of humor extremely helpful in getting his point across. “The Big Lies People Tell In Online Dating” was the article I found most interesting, because he calls attention to lies that most of us are guilty of committing—behavior like posting old pictures that we look particularly hot in, or lying about our height, and income.
Lying or embellishing your social network profiles, (what the Urban Dictionary defines as “face painting” has become the standard solely because you want to be desirable and attractive to the opposite sex. Dating and relationships so often stem from social networking sites or at least play an integral role in their development. There is this underlying notion that if you don’t want to be single for the rest of your life, you need to find the most attractive photo in your iPhoto library and make it your profile picture—talk about pressure.
Gershon talked about several interviewees who discussed the meaning about putting song lyrics or certain pictures up to communicate a message to another person (someone you are/were) romantically involved with. We put construct our social networking profiles not convey to people who we really are and how we really spend our time, but to communicate to our friends and connections what we desire to be or think they want us to be.