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Computer-Mediated Communication in Personal Relationships

Edited By Kevin B. Wright and Lynne M. Webb

This is the first collection of readings on computer-mediated communication focusing exclusively on interpersonal interactions. Examining messages exchanged via email, Twitter, Facebook, websites, and blogs, the authors analyze communication issues of ongoing importance in relationships including deception, disclosure, identity, influence, perception, privacy, sexual fidelity, and social support. The book examines subjects that attract intense student interest – including online performance of gender, online dating, and using computer-mediated communication to achieve family/work life balance – and will inspire further research and course development in the area of computer-mediated communication in personal relationships. Because it provides a synthesis of ideas at the nexus of interpersonal communication theory and computer-mediated communication theory, the book can serve as a textbook for advanced undergraduate as well as graduate courses.
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3. A New Twist on Love’s Labor: Self-Presentation in Online Dating Profiles (Catalina L. Toma / Jeffrey T. Hancock)

Extract

CHAPTER THREE

A New Twist on Love’s Labor: Self-Presentation in Online Dating Profiles

Catalina L. Toma

Jeffrey T. Hancock

Perhaps nowhere are first impressions as important as in romantic encounters. Romance can thrive if first impressions are positive, or may not even take off if they are negative. An important question, then, is what kind of information people rely on to form these first impressions. In traditional forms of dating, such as being introduced by a mutual friend or simply sharing a glance across the room, first impressions are typically based on the other’s physical appearance, dress, and conversational style. This limited amount of information allows people to gauge romantic “chemistry,” but it tends to lack breadth (i.e., information about exact age, occupation, family) and depth (i.e., information about personality and core beliefs).

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