Online Dating Examine: User Practices of an Online Dating Community – Inquiries Journal

Online Dating Examine: User Practices of an Online Dating Community – Inquiries Journal

Increasingly, human interactions are being communicated by means of electronic, Internet-based medias. Readily available programs and websites facilitate effortless transference of messages, thus rendering space and time irrelevant. The quick, efficient manner of Internet-based medias permit for effortless access to users who want to examine a lot of content in an organized format within a brief amount of time.

This concept is ideal for facilitating online dating networks where users seek to explore many users with the same intimate-based goals for using the community. Online dating communities are a growing industry, like social networking sites, and are similar in that they both provide interpersonal communication with others over the Internet.

In contrast to social networking sites, online dating communities are tailored specifically to users who are looking for a romantic playmate, connection, or encounter. In the following research examine, I aim to examine user&rsquo,s practice of the online dating community, Slew of Fish (POF). The practice a user has is based upon their reasons for participating, the level of their involvement in the community, and the qualities the community offers to its users.

The central questions this research explore intends to reaction are: what is the user&rsquo,s practice of the online dating community, POF? How does the community itself influence the user&rsquo,s practice of online dating? Why do users join and participate in online dating communities? And, what are positive/successful aspects of the community? What are the negative/unsuccessful aspects of the community?

As for delimitations, I will concentrate specifically on the free online dating community, Slew of Fish, and users who are aged 23-30 living in Ottawa, Ontario. This age group was selected with the anticipation that participants would be out of school and beginning careers. At this stage in life, individuals tend to lack the social outlets generally used to meet potential playmates. That is to say, they are freshly out of school, fresh to their careers and are frequenting bars and other social functions less than they once were.

Concerning limitations, this pilot explore provides only a micro example of the practice of an online dating community. It will only take into consideration the practices of Four users from the Ottawa, Ontario Slew of Fish community. Included in this sample size are Four fellows inbetween the ages of 23 and 30.

Albeit this sample will provide only a snapshot of a very particular area (city of Ottawa and the Slew of Fish community) from the masculine point of view, it demonstrates the overall phenomenon of online dating communities and will display concepts common to the general practice of online daters involved in Internet dating communities.

This is a hermeneutical phenomenological explore wherein the central purpose is to interpret and describe the user&rsquo,s practice of the Slew of Fish online dating community. This deals with the user&rsquo,s reasons for joining, their activities and usage of the community, their perception of the community, and their opinions of positive and negative aspects of the community.

Within this perspective, my position as a researcher permanently be taken into account because my view of the topics and content found will naturally influence the interpretations I make. I will be making interpretations based on the lived practices communicated to me in a textual form via MSN Messenger by users of Slew of Fish. Based on these interpretations, I aim to describe the essence of the online dating phenomenon within the context of the Slew of Fish community.

This topic was arrived at because of my interest in exploring Internet-based interpersonal communication. Aiming to arrive at a more concise topic, I selected online dating because of my interest and curiosity about this phenomenon. Not having any individual practice of utilizing online dating communities, my interest is founded in the concept that such an inherently human and private matter of finding a romantic fucking partner is being administered in a public, online domain.

Having heard about this particular site, POF, from various friends and coworkers, I considered it to be a good community to select as a context for user&rsquo,s practices. Albeit it is an international website, users are grouped according to their local area, unless they wish to search users in a different, specific area. Membership in this community is free, which differentiates it form other major dating communities like eHarmony, LavaLife or Match.com. The users of a free community may be less serious, or less involved with utilizing the service compared to users who pay to be members of an inclusive community. The free quality of Slew of Fish could also mean that it has a more diverse bod of users due to its inclusivity.

Societal switches have caused the most private of matters to be taken online. Online communities of users seeking romantic connections by displaying themselves not only as users, but as a potential fucking partners, is a signifier of the liberal, technologically-dependant era we are presently in. The prevalence of online dating is also a signifier of the over-stimulated and excessive nature of current society.

Generally, society is accustom to having broad varieties of everything from cereal to cars to choose from, and online dating contributes to this notion because it provides a large assets of potential paramours to choose from. Choosing an online love interest permits users to be very picky in terms of the qualities they are looking for in a fucking partner. Online dating is also a signifier of the time-poor society we live in because it permits users to &ldquo,shop&rdquo, for a paramour at any time that is convenient for them. Further, the nature of online dating communities permits users to examine a massive multitude of people within a brief period of time, especially compared to the time it would take to sift through the same amount of people in &ldquo,real&rdquo, life.

This examine will contribute to the existing skill of online dating communities because it is a micro example. This explore concentrates exclusively on one community, Slew of Fish, and only examines users from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Albeit existing studies have looked into online dating as a phenomenon and examined user&rsquo,s practices of the communities and reasons for joining, they have been more broad-based and quantitative in nature.

There are terms that hold specific meaning within the context of this explore. I will outline them here:

  • Online dating community: Within this explore, this term means an interactive figure of members who are active participants. A community differs from a website because of the multifaceted nature of the site itself and because members interact with one another through the site, as opposed to just accessing the content of the website.
  • User: Within this investigate, a user is an individual who holds membership in the POF community. They have signed up for membership by providing their private information, creating a username and making a profile. By doing this, they grant other users access to their information, and likewise, are able to access the information of other users.
  • Slew of Fish (POF): The online dating community examined in this investigate. It is free and permits for the grouping of users based on geographical area of residence, age, gender, sexual preference, and interests. This community contains a database of users, a search engine of users, an internal messaging system wherein each member has an inbox, a service to match users based on predetermined information, and a instrument to see which members have viewed your profile.
  • Profile: A page used on Slew of Fish as a representation of each user. It contains their private information and pictures.

Review of Literature

In looking for background and supporting information for my examine, I searched The International Journal of Qualitative Methods, and the Journal of Phenomenological for relevant content through the University of Ottawa library e-journal database. A hermeneutic probe called, &ldquo,Flirting on the Internet and the Hickey: A Hermeneutic&rdquo, was available in the International Journal of Qualitative Methods.

The International Journal of Qualitative Methods contained, &ldquo,Internet dating: a British survey&rdquo,. The Journal of Phenomenological Psychology contained, &ldquo,Dating &, Intimity in the 21 Century: The Use of Online Dating Sites in Australia&rdquo,. The three studies differ in their approaches of examining online dating, but each contributes a valuable perspective to take into consideration when forming my investigate.

Using the University of Ottawa e-Journal database, the selected journals, The International Journal of Qualitative Methods and The Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, were accessed through host websites. Within those journals, key words &ldquo,online&rdquo,, &ldquo,internet&rdquo,, &ldquo,dating&rdquo,, &ldquo,community&rdquo,, and &ldquo,communities&rdquo, were used to search for relevant literature on this topic.

Very first, I will review the examine, &ldquo,Flirting on the Internet and the Hickey: A Hermeneutic&rdquo, done by Richard Alapack, Flydal Blichfeldt, and Aake Elden. This explore is a dual hermeneutic and contains two narratives: interpretations of flirting over the Internet, and descriptive findings about the hickey. The probe looks at the discrepancy inbetween live flirting done in the skin and &ldquo,wired&rdquo, flirting done over the Internet. The researchers interpret two preexisting studies on both Internet flirting and hickeys.

For the purposes of my present research probe, I will be focusing solely on the interpretations of Internet flirting. The researchers define various concepts within their examine of Internet flirting: virtual space, invisible contact, &ldquo,netspeak&rdquo,, arousal-by-text, imagination and fantasy, not truly knowing your Internet love interest, the discrepancy inbetween the online and offline identity, simulation, and the ambiguity of cyberspace.

In the examine, the researchers concentrate mostly on flirting in the sense of cybersex and talk rooms, whereas my probe concentrates on instances where users seek a romantic fucking partner for a relationship that spans beyond the cyber sphere. However, this explore provides significant information pertaining to my investigate regarding the cyber world within an erotic context.

On the subject of fantasy within online flirting, the researchers found that participants often fantasized about the people they chatted with online, whether sexual fantasies or simply fantasizing about what an online friend is like in &ldquo,real&rdquo, life. Because online talking and dating renders many &ldquo,real-life&rdquo, private qualities unknown or ambiguous, fantasy and imagination are natural occurrences to be expected.

This concept is relevant to my probe because it pertains to the constructs participants may form in their practices of POF. The researchers also touch on the discrepancy inbetween one&rsquo,s online identity and offline identity. Participants of the investigate explained their practices of being pleasurably and unpleasantly astonished by the real identities of online love interests. This seemed to be an demonstrable aspect to be weary of when participating in online dating.

In the examine, &ldquo,Dating &, Intimity in the 21 Century: The Use of OnlineDating Sites in Australia&rdquo, conducted by Millsom Henry-Waring and Jo Barraket of the University of Melbourne examined the influence of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on closeness within the context of daily life. They take a sociological treatment in order to attempt to understand how the growing trends in online dating are affecting the actual essence of dating in the 21 st century. The researchers also point out that they consider online dating to be an integrated aspect of real life, and not an outside facet of it.

The investigate aimed to, &ldquo,map the nature and scope of online dating trends in Australia, explore the effects of online ICTs on intimate connections, both off and online, and develop a sturdy theoretical framework and refined methodology for further research&hellip,&rdquo, (Henry-Waning &, Barraket, 2008, p. 16).

They performed a &ldquo,web audit&rdquo, of over 60 online dating websites in which they appraised features of the site within a predetermined time framework. The examine also conducted in-depth interviews with 23 Australian online daters, Five of them being fellows and Eighteen of them women, inbetween the ages of 25 and 62. These interviews were conduced via Instant Messenger, email, telephone, and face-to-face.

Across the analysis and transcribing process, the researchers maintained a rhetorical framework that permits for the &ldquo,ongoing construction and negotiation of social practice by seeking to expose and understand the viewpoint of the actors involved&rdquo, (Henry-Waning &, Barraket, 2008, p. 16). This conceptual framework is similar the one adopted in my present research examine in that I assume reality is negotiated and perceived only within the practices of the individuals, or in this case, the participants.

Henry-Waning and Barraket used the following research questions to fuel the explore: &ldquo,Why are people using online dating services? How are people communicating online? In what ways do people connect emotionally and intimately on and off-line? Does online dating alter the very nature of closeness, emotion and dating?&rdquo, (p. 16 &, 27) The questions regarding user&rsquo,s reasons for joining and their online communication activities are similar to questions and themes raised in my present probe.

By and large, they found that participants utilized dating sites because they had less time for formal dating but yet had more time for ICTs. As for communicating over online dating sites, the participants felt that the online user profile was the central communication medium. In terms of the discrepancy inbetween meeting offline and online, participants felt that it was significant to meet the people they had an online connection with face-to-face as soon as possible to determine whether or not the connection could translate into a live connection.

The researchers found that online dating switches the medium of the dating process. However, rather than switching the inherent goals of dating, it merely reinforces them. Albeit this paper examined Australian participants only, it provides a broad base for exploring the notion of online dating as a societal trend.

The third and final existing probe to be outlined is the 2007 probe, &ldquo,Internet dating: a British survey&rdquo, conducted by Barrie Gunter of University of Leicester. This examine aims to examine the growing phenomenon of online dating and was widespread in nature, surveying over Trio,800 participants residing in the UK. Of this, 29 per cent had reported using an online dating website. The responses were gained through a self-completion questionnaire posted online with access to approximately 30,000 potential respondents. Of the Three,844 responses they received, 67 per cent were female and 33 per cent were masculine, signifying the ages of 16 to 55 plus.

In the survey, participants were asked whether or not they had used an online dating website, had ever considered using one, had heard about them, and how they heard about them. Of the participants who had utilized the sites, they were asked a numerical amount of how many times they had attempted dating sites, and how much money they had spent on them in the past two years.

The survey contained a matrix scale measuring the importance of several factors in choosing a dating community including the scope of users, anonymity, and the community&rsquo,s reputation. Participants were asked about their satisfaction with previous online dating practices, the maximum amount of money they would spend monthly on an online dating membership and the outcomes they had experienced from dating through an online community.

Of this explore, I will review only the results that are relevant to my present examine. Twenty-nine percent said they had utilized dating communities, and of the ones who had not used them, 1 in Four had considered it, and 94 per cent of the non-users had heard of it, displaying that even if not adopted, online dating communities are a well known phenomenon. As for reasons for joining online dating communities, 40 per cent sought dates, 38 per cent sought fresh friends, and 22 per cent sought a long-term/marriage playmate.

The financial cost of membership to an online dating community was seen as the 2nd most significant factor in choosing a site, which pertains to my examine in that the majority of my participants chose POF because it was free. Seventy per cent had met face-to-face with people they had met through the dating site, similar to the majority of participants in my present investigate who also had.

Albeit this examine is based in the UK with British participants, it emphasizes that online dating is a prevalent and growing phenomenon. This investigate provides a wide-scale and statistical foundation for the examine of online dating as a phenomenon. Continued on Next Page »,

References

Alapack, R., Flydal Blichfeldt, M., &, Elden, A. (2005). Flirting on the internet and the hickey: a hermeneutic. CyberPsychology &, Behavior, 8(1), 52-61.

Barraket, J., Henry-Waring, M. (2008). Dating &, proximity in the 21st century: The use of online dating sites in Australia. International Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society, 6(1), 14-33.

Creswell, J.W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Gunter, B. (2007). Internet dating: a British survey. Aslib Proceedings: Fresh Information Perspectives, 60(Two), 88-98.

Appendix 1: MSN Messenger Interviews

Andrea (Student Researcher) says: (6:Eighteen:14 PM)

ya, i am if you are!

Andrea (Student Researcher) says: (6:Nineteen:05 PM)

alright, i\’ll begin then!

Andrea (Student Researcher) says: (6:Nineteen:12 PM)

So very first off, why did you sign up on Slew of Fish?

cause i found a site with more people

Andrea (Student Researcher) says: (6:20:04 PM)

there were more people on POF compared to another site you were on?

Andrea (Student Researcher) says: (6:20:49 PM)

so other than having more people, how does POF compare to other sites you\’ve attempted?

its free but not much serious people in there

Andrea (Student Researcher) says: (6:22:00 PM)

what do you think most users are looking for?

fairly vague question

many are looking for joy, some for hookup, some for serious stuff

Andrea (Student Researcher) says: (6:23:57 PM)

what are you looking for from the site?

long lasting love

Andrea (Student Researcher) says: (6:24:57 PM)

do you think POF has potential for fulfilling that objective?

well since there are real people you can meet on there, of course

Andrea (Student Researcher) says: (6:26:09 PM)

have you met up with people face-to-face that you met from the site?

Andrea (Student Researcher) says: (6:26:52 PM)

in person, how did they compare to their online profile and talking?

its the same people as for the beliefs and kind of people

but its always differrent from what we imagine

Andrea (Student Researcher) says: (6:29:34 PM)

alright. does the website give you what you\’re looking for? in terms of it\’s services, how it works, its layout, etc.

you work for pof?? lol

Andrea (Student Researcher) says: (6:30:51 PM)

haha no! this is just a research probe for school.

Andrea (Student Researcher) says: (6:31:55 PM)

just response best as you can recall..did the website itself influence how you met people on there or what you thought of online dating?

you mean from their advices6

Andrea (Student Researcher) says: (6:35:Legal PM)

from the different features of the website and how it works. like how you can search for users, or the messaging system, or the way the profiles are

i dont see how it could

Andrea (Student Researcher) says: (6:38:32 PM)

so do you feel that the profiles, searching engines or any other feature of the website had no influence on your practice of the site?

well it depends how you use it

and i dont use it the same way every time

it may switch the people you end up meeting

Andrea (Student Researcher) says: (6:40:41 PM)

okay. how did you hear about POF?

Andrea (Student Researcher) says: (6:41:39 PM)

on a scale from 1-5, how involved would you say you are in the POF site?

[email protected] says: (6:43:25 PM)

have you ever been to their local events? the ones they host at bars and stuff?

[email protected] says: (6:44:23 PM)

alright. overall, how would you describe your practices on POF? (sucesses, an observation, an opinion of it)

it opens possibilities but its still hard to find that person that is ready and open for it

sometimes it feels unlikely 🙂

[email protected] says: (6:47:29 PM)

I see! why did you embark looking for a long-term relationship online to begin with?

cause i was single

you dont need another reason than that

but im too timid to meet people from outside

[email protected] says: (6:49:38 PM)

ohh okay, i see. what are the downfalls or shortcomings of POF, if any?

the site or the online practice?

it would be that people judge too swift and doesnt give a chance to know a person

[email protected] says: (6:52:Eighteen PM)

thats for online practice?

[email protected] says: (6:53:Ten PM)

what about for POF?

thresholds to the search engine.

[email protected] says: (6:56:Nineteen PM)

less users or the search engine itself?

it would be nice to search for keywords in the profile to find similar interests

more users is always good

[email protected] says: (6:59:24 PM)

alright, good answers! those are all the questions i have, do you have anything else to add?

have you attempted it?

[email protected] says: (7:00:25 PM)

haha good question! i\’ve heard about it from friends but never signed up myself until i made my researching profile

[email protected] says: (7:12:04 PM)

do you have time for that quick interview now? it is there a better time that works for you?

fritzgerald says: (7:12:15 PM)

[email protected] says: (7:12:47 PM)

alright, awesome. i\’ll begin:

[email protected] says: (7:13:00 PM)

So very first off, why did you sign up on Slew of Fish?

fritzgerald says: (7:14:09 PM)

my friend told me to join.

fritzgerald says: (7:14:25 PM)

but hadn\’t heard of it be4 that.

[email protected] says: (7:15:07 PM)

was it the very first dating site you singed up for?

fritzgerald says: (7:15:52 PM)

[email protected] says: (7:17:24 PM)

what are you looking for from the site?

fritzgerald says: (7:Legal:34 PM)

dating and making friends

[email protected] says: (7:Nineteen:Eighteen PM)

so far, have you found this from the site?

fritzgerald says: (7:21:38 PM)

So far I have been on two dates but made more friends I will say Five to be exact

[email protected] says: (7:23:22 PM)

Alright. In your practice, what do you think most users are looking for?

fritzgerald says: (7:23:54 PM)

[email protected] says: (7:24:36 PM)

fritzgerald says: (7:28:05 PM)

well from my point of view I think many people think its lighter to fine the special person online than in a regular script..

[email protected] says: (7:28:30 PM)

why would you say that is?

fritzgerald says: (7:31:08 PM)

haven known or met people throught online dating I think thats what a majority of them think.

fritzgerald says: (7:31:53 PM)

I have asked the same question too before and got same responses or something similar

[email protected] says: (7:32:44 PM)

I see.Do you think POF offers people what they are looking for in an online dating community?

fritzgerald says: (7:33:43 PM)

[email protected] says: (7:34:56 PM)

How do the site features enhance or take away from the online dating practice? (the profile layouts, the search engine for users, the messaging, etc).

fritzgerald says: (7:39:16 PM)

The layout is ok. As for the search engine, it gives u many options to narrow or broaden ur search criteria on what u r looking for which is nice. Don\’t have any issues with the messaging tho’.

fritzgerald says: (7:40:53 PM)

I would like something more of an intant msging thing than having to keep msging pple.

[email protected] says: (7:41:39 PM)

Alright!On a scale of 1-5 how involved would you say you are in the POF community?

fritzgerald says: (7:42:Ten PM)

[email protected] says: (7:43:15 PM)

alright, so moderate? from that, what would you say is your overall practice of the site? (sucesses, observations, opinion on it)

fritzgerald says: (7:48:37 PM)

I would say my overall practice on the site has been superb. One other observation I have seen on the site is that ladies overall are indeed selective which is kind of joy to see. Tho’ its safe to say same as the guys haha

[email protected] says: (7:49:21 PM)

Haha, so you\’d say both guys and ladies are both able to be selective on the site?

fritzgerald says: (7:50:02 PM)

yeap safe to say.

[email protected]ive.com says: (7:51:06 PM)

thats interesting! okay, those are all my questions. unless you have anything to add, we\’re all finished up

josh says: (7:25:42 PM)

ask me what youd like to know

[email protected] says: (7:26:11 PM)

alright, i\’ll begin:

[email protected] says: (7:26:26 PM)

So very first off, why did you sign up on Slew of Fish?

josh says: (7:28:56 PM)

sry was away for a moment

[email protected] says: (7:29:09 PM)

thats alright. reaction whenever you\’re ready

josh says: (7:30:02 PM)

it all commenced out looking for a decent local dating site,

josh says: (7:30:47 PM)

than realizing almost every other site costs money to use , where plentyoffish has always been free to everyone

josh says: (7:30:57 PM)

i think thats why its so popular

[email protected] says: (7:31:46 PM)

alright, have you attempted other dating sites?

josh says: (7:32:32 PM)

yes i attempted aff last year and paid but im looking for that now

josh says: (7:32:46 PM)

sprry not looking

josh says: (7:33:09 PM)

do you know of aff

[email protected] says: (7:33:37 PM)

no, i\’ve never heard of that

josh says: (7:34:Ten PM)

ok well it a very popular site for flings or one nighters basically

josh says: (7:34:32 PM)

for woman its free

josh says: (7:34:50 PM)

boys pay 20 to 60 a month toughly

josh says: (7:35:06 PM)

seems pathetic somehow

josh says: (7:35:07 PM)

[email protected] says: (7:35:28 PM)

haha thats interesting. What were yo

Quesnel, A. (2010). “Online Dating Examine: User Practices of an Online Dating Community.” Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse, Two(11). Retrieved from http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/a?id=323

Quesnel, Andrea. “Online Dating Examine: User Practices of an Online Dating Community.” Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse Two.11 (2010). <,http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/a?id=323>,

Quesnel, Andrea. 2010. Online Dating Examine: User Practices of an Online Dating Community. Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse Two (11), http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/a?id=323

QUESNEL, A. 2010. Online Dating Explore: User Practices of an Online Dating Community. Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse [Online], Two. Available: http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/a?id=323

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