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To find out how best to use online services, we first have to examine their strengths and weaknesses.
Finkel and his collaborators critique the three main areas in which online dating services claim to be superior to the offline, or old-fashioned, way of meeting people in person.
When their expectation doesn’t match reality, they are then more disappointed than they would be if they had met the person earlier on in the relationship.
This process is exacerbated by the tendency that people have to disguise their flaws either by bending the truth or lying outright about their age, their job, their background, or even their marital status.
Their diagnostic tests seem to key in on the fundamental essence of our personalities, ensuring that we’ll be paired with the one person in the world whose fundamental essence will resonate to ours.
First, a caveat—they did not look into sites such as Craiglist, sex or hookup sites, infidelity sites, sites for arranging group dates, social networking sites (such as Facebook) or online video games (such as World of Warcraft or Sims)Access Having the opportunity to examine the profiles of hundreds, if not thousands, of potential matches must surely be an advantage, right?
Consequently, you may be less likely to commit to the people who you do decide to follow up on because you know there are hundreds of others out there, should this match prove flawed.
Finkel and his co-authors also caution against the false belief that there is a perfect match for you out there in the online universe.
The decision-making processes we go through when we’re examining online profiles are also different than those we use in offline situations.
As you flip through those profiles, you’re not necessarily pausing and studying each one as carefully as you would a real person.
When you meet someone in person, you have nonverbal cues as well as the actual qualities of the person right there in front of you to guide your judgment (the vibes, as it were).