Online Dating, Teens, and Self-Presentation

In Kapidizic and Herrig’s article, Teens, Gender, and Self-Presentation in Social Media, they break down the demographics of teens using social media. Kapidizic and Herrig study the social media platforms each gender uses and the types of information posted. For example, boys go on sites like, YouTube and Reddit, along with listening to music while girls go on Pinterest and post pictures on social media sites that make them look cute. Peluchette and Karl (2008) stated “overall, young adults appear to utilize social media primarily as a way to attract and form relationships with peers…” Therefore, it seems that there is a fine line between photos being considered attractive and pornographic. Teens have posted their profile pictures to show off their attractiveness with guys having their shirts off and girls having limited clothing showing off their cleavage. The article states that both genders have admitted being untruthful about their age on social media. The tone and language of posts from girls and boys were studied and girls were friendlier and more reactive while boys were more aggressive and flirtatious.

Herring, S. C., & Kapidzic, S. (2015). Teens, Gender, and Self-Presentation in Social Media. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 146-152. doi:10.1016/b978-0-08-097086-8.64108-9

Peluchette, J., Karl, K., 2008. Social networking profiles: An examination of student attitudes regarding use and appropriateness of content. Cyberpsychology & Behavior. 11(1),95-97.

Heino, Ellison, and Gibbs (2010) stated “in many ways online dating turns relationship-building processes into a metaphorical marketplace where interested individuals shop each other’s’ profiles in hope of finding romantic love.” When it is really thought about, that is exactly what is going on. A person’s online dating profile will have their interests, a photo of themselves, their career, and more. People will sift through profiles in order to find the one their like best and hope the other person likes them too. Research has shown that deceptive self-enhancements are used on online dating sites. Therefore, people scrutinize profiles for even the smallest details because they know the person on the other end could be lying. Some of the most popular traits found on the profiles were seriousness, drama, harmony, humor, hard work, and more. When people mentioned drama, they did not want drama and with seriousness they wanted the other person to mesh well with them and not be too serious. At the end of the experiment, all the people interviewed were looking for a long-term relationship.

Heino, R. D., Ellison, N. B., & Gibbs, J. L. (2010). Relationshopping: Investigating the market metaphor in online dating. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 27(4), 427-447.

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