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The Dark Side of Media and Technology

A 21st Century Guide to Media and Technological Literacy

Edited By Edward Downs

The Dark Side of Media and Technology: A 21st Century Guide to Media and Technological Literacy is Herculean in its effort to survey for landmines in a rapidly changing media landscape. The book identifies four dark outcomes related to media and technology use in the 21st century, and balances the dark side with four points of light that are the keys to taking ownership of a media- and technology-saturated world. The text contains an impressive list of multi-disciplinary experts and cutting-edge researchers who approach 25 separate dark side issues with concise, highly readable chapters, replete with unique recommendations for navigating our mediated present and future.

The Dark Side of Media and Technology is grounded in theory and current research, but possesses an appeal similar to a page-turning dystopian novel; as a result, this volume should be of interest to scholars, students, and curious lay-readers alike. It should be the "go-to" text for anyone who is interested in learning what the research says about how we use media and technology, as well as how media and technology use us.

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Chapter Twelve: Love and Lies: Deception in Online Dating (Catalina L. Toma / Irene G. Sarmiento)


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Love and Lies

Deception in Online Dating


Online dating refers to the practice of using websites (e.g.,, OKCupid) and mobile applications (e.g., Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel) to meet potential romantic partners for both committed and casual liaisons. On these platforms, users typically describe themselves through textual descriptions and photographs, and then either search for partners themselves, or allow compatibility algorithms to connect them with potential partners. Dating websites tend to include longer profiles where users can describe themselves in detail, whereas mobile applications present more streamlined information, focusing on photographs and brief self-descriptions.

Both types of platforms have attracted a remarkable following. No longer a niche activity undertaken by geeks or by those taking desperate measures to find love, online dating is now the second most popular venue for meeting romantic partners (Rosenfeld & Thomas, 2012). Fifteen percent of American adults have tried an online dating site or mobile app and 5% of Americans who are currently married or in a long-term committed relationship reported that they met their partner online (Smith & Anderson, 2016). Among marriages and committed relationships that began between 2006 and 2012, a full third had met online (Cacioppo, Cacioppo, Gonzaga, Ogburn, & VanderWeele, 2013).

Not only is online dating popular, but it also appears successful in producing healthy relationships. In a nationally representative study, couples who had met...

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