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Online Relationships

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Alexis Rattner

on 10 December 2013

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Transcript of Online Relationships

Online Communication and Relationship Formation
Reasoning behind why such a large percentage of participants rejected the idea of finding love online was answered when we found that 65% of participants disagreed that people are genuine online.
65% of those surveyed feel that people are in-genuine online
81% of those surveyed claimed they would not search for love online
The Cultivation Analysis Theory talks about how a person’s world is shaped by the media rather than through direct experience. This theory is linked to how people learn about the reality of fake personalities through TV shows and movies.
46% of participants agreed that intimate relationships are possible online
48% agreed that it is possible to find true love online
55% of participants were between the ages of 18 and 23
Reasoning behind why the 18 - 23 age group predominantly uses online communication is due to the fact it is easily accessible through portable devices and provides instant gratification
There is societal independence with the 18 - 23 age group because virtual harassment can be handled without face-to-face confrontation. Physical harassment on the other holds the potential for violence.
Due to the fact virtual harassment can be so easily dealt with without the possibility of violence, this leads to the lack of social grace that is necessary when having to deal with face-to-face conflict
65% strongly Disagree that people are genuine online
People that meet others through online interaction are tentative when it comes to believing that the people they meet are genuinely who they claim to be.
"When there is an absence of visual and auditory cues. When we talk to someone in person, we see their facial expressions, their body language and hear their tone of voice. Someone can say the exact same thing a number of different ways, and that usually effects how we respond" (Munro. 2002. Psychotherapist).
However, computer mediated communication is part of our modern society and when used wisely can aid us in maintaining current relationships even though it is not reliable for forming new ones.
Majority of people believe online relationships benefit communication because of convenience and ease of disclosure. Compared to face to face interactions, there is less anxiety about judgement and greater control over appearance to the other person.
Computer mediated communication hinders one’s ability to pick up on verbal and physical cues, and can lead to miscommunication and hurt feelings.
Online communication and face to face communication both have benefits
and detriments, and in knowing when it is most appropriate to use one over the other we are able to more effectively communicate.
Individuals only interact with a quarter of online relations offline in effort to save face and because they believe it is easier to resolve conflict offline
[Saving Face]
Face is the image we project to others in hopes of appearing acceptable by societal standards.
It is created and maintained through "facework" - Avoiding encounters that threaten our face and correcting when face is lost.
It is easier to form relationships offline, however disclosing personal information and finding acceptance are easier online because of the effect of CMC on Social Penetration Theory
Social Penetration Theory:
As relationships develop communication moves from relatively shallow, non-intimate levels, to deeper, more personal ones.
Computer Mediated Communications:
Exchanges of information in textual, audio and/or video formats that are transmitted and controlled by the use of computer and telecommunication technologies
Despite believing that people are in-genuine online, we continue to engage in online relationships in an effort to maintain previously formed offline relationships
Social Capital:
The sum of the resources, actual or virtual, that accrue to an individual or a group by virtue of possessing a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition.

This information is prominently targeted at our youth. Due to parents, media and schools educating children on the hazards of meeting other people through the web, many people are growing up with this distrust ingrained in their knowledge of meeting others through the online community.
There has been a growing awareness of the many people who create fake personalities
via social networking sites.
Catfishing, a now recognized term by doctors, psychologists and even celebrities is the act of creating a fake identity via a social networking site (McHugh, 2013).
“Some victims are less likely to check into the details of their new online acquaintance because they are flattered by the attention they are getting. Emotions can clout judgment and allow people to ignore or explain away the inconsistencies in the other person's story. In addition, a victim's fears of intimacy may make them more likely to be attracted to online relationships, therefore making even strange narratives about their significant other seem appealing” (Castillo - CBS. 2013)..
Due to the fact that people have been taught since the dawn of social networking the hazards of meeting others online, this distrust has embedded itself in the minds of those who social network on a regular basis.
There is a direct correlation of those who know the dangers of meeting others through the internet and their willingness to use the internet as a resource to find love or form relationships.
Therefore, we conclude that 65% of participants feel that people are in-genuine online, and 81% stated that they wouldn’t search for love online because of the societal distrust of electronically formed relationships.


We were able to collect approximately 120 responses via Facebook as well as surveying people in the real world.
Our group created a survey and posted it to our social media networks in order to collect data on our topic.
The survey gathered information regarding gender, age, time spent on the internet and its interdependence on how people view online relationships.
The information collected was then used to create pie charts making it more visually comprehensible.
We organized the results and drew conclusions from the information we collected pertaining to our sample.
How can a person fall in love with someone that isn’t physically near to them, possibly someone they can’t even see?
How can a person be physically intimate with someone that they can’t see?
Physical intimacy vs. psychological intimacy
How can a person believe in the success of finding love online, but not search for it there?
Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA);
“A persons behavior is determined by his or her intention to perform the behavior and that this intention is in turn a function of his or her attitude toward the behavior in his or her subjected norm” (Azjen-Fishben, 1980)
Current online dating statistics
Alexis Rattner
Amanda Lozon
Courtney O'Mara
Emma Wisotzke
Jill Wisnowski

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