Factors Determining Online Dating
Dating is a popular and socially acceptable means of meeting people who contribute significantly in our lives. Consequently, modern technology has made dating easier as interested individuals resort to embrace in online dating. Online dating, other than having trust and misinterpretation issues, has proved to be more reliable dating alternative for those individuals seeking romance and acts as an avenue for experiencing greater interpersonal as well as romantic connections. A major difference between online dating and offline dating is that the former lacks face-to-face communication. Online dating is a Computer Mediated Communication (CMC). This paper seeks to conduct a study that would unearth factors contributing to online dating.
Several significant studies have been conducted to determine factors leading to online dating. Kang and Hoffman (2011) based their analysis on a study conducted by Pew Internet and American Life Project (2005). The model used by Pew Internet and American Life Project (2005) studied individuals from age bracket 18-95 years old, their level of education ranged from 1-7 years after high school. Additionally, 54. 3 of the respondents were women. On the other hand, the study by Kang and Hoffman which sought to find out factors that predict usage of online dating and based hyperpersonal CMC as its theoritical framework, tested six variables; age, sex, education, trust, total number of tasks that a person does on the internet and perceived reliability of the internet (p. 210).
Results showed that several significant factors played fundamental roles in predicting the likelihood of an individual to use online dating module; Several literature demonstrate trust as a significant factor in determining online dating. Honesty poses a major problem in the online dating realm since many individuals assume that others are giving inaccurate information of themselves (p. 207). Kang and Hoffman argue that individuals who generally trust others may also trust those they meet through the internet (p. 210). Sex factor is a determinant of online dating; results showed that women use online dating than men. Exposure to internet also predicts internet usage, since determines the number of tasks an individual performs on the internet. For instance, graduate students respond with tremendous positive attitudes in creating online relationships than undergraduate students who comfortably use internet for other purposes. Consequently, results showed that individuals who use internet to perform various tasks disseminate higher rates of online dating. Major age differences that occur between the younger undergraduate students and older graduate students show that age and education predict the likelihood of online dating(p. 208). Finally, individuals who easily access internet for a variety of tasks and are more comfortable with using the internet for other purposes feel the internet is reliable and are likely to use it for online dating. therefore, the perceived reliability of the internet is a major factor in determining online dating(p. 210).
However, this study is faced with several limitations such as those of age, trust and operalization of the number of tasks an individual does on the internet, since they cannot be quantified. Therefore, further studies that have more precise operational and theoritical framework should be conducted to give a clearer picture.
Regardless of the limitations, this study is critical in highlighting the foundation of the factors determining online dating. Age, sex, education, trust, total number of tasks that a person does on the internet and perceived reliability of the internet are factors determining individuals’ use of online dating.
Kang, Tanya and Lindsay H. Hoffman. ” Why Would You Decide to Use an Online Dating Site? Factors That Lead to Online Dating.” Communication Research Reports 28. 3 (2011): 205-213.
Factors Determining Online Dating