For decades there have been ways that people come together to try and find relationships. Years ago it was personal ads in newspapers and now that has evolved into online dating sites. There are so many that exist that it is hard to keep track of them all but the creation of so many of these online dating sites means that there is a place for everyone.
Since there are so many places that you can connect with people online, identity formation is a key component when dealing with these virtual spaces. “Identity is defined as the tension between how a person defines oneself as an individual and how they connect to others and social groups (Klein, Klein, and Allen, 1995).”
Within these online places there are many people who talk like they would in a F-T-F conversation while there are others that are experimenting nd trying to develop who they are. It could be a way for them to try and make themselves better understood or they could just not like how they communicate in person so they have the freedom to change that online. A good example of a type of person who can experiment with how they communicate are the people who would be considered shy. In a virtual world there is less judgment and rejection and this allows for people to come out of their shell and be who they really are. Being yourself is a key aspect of online dating. Since there is that anticipation of one day meeting F-T-F people are more willing to be themselves which is interesting since there is a notion that people misrepresent themselves when using online dating sites.
Because of the nature of online dating websites, people tend to pay more attention to smaller details than they may in F-T-F settings. “As suggested by SIP (Walther, 1992), subtle cues such as misspellings in the online environment are important clues to identity for CMC interactants. ” I see this as a positive side effects that online dating sites have. Yes people can get picky when it comes down to not interacting with someone if they misspelled a word, but people are more aware of the different qualities others hold. Its no longer just about what they look like but who they are intellectually and how they present themselves.