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.As Finkel and his colleagues state, you may make “lazy, ill-informed decisions” because you’re selecting from such a large group of potential matches.The mindset you develop in this process can also cause you to think of a romantic partner not as a person but as someone who is easily interchangeable with someone else.Unfortunately, when it comes to online dating, there is no safety in numbers.Because you’re not meeting actual people, but instead examining their profiles, you’re not going through the normal give-and-take that occurs when people meet and talk for the first time.Online dating sites promise to use science to match you with the love of your life.
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?
Some feature might pop out at you (particularly appearance) that causes you to think “Next?
” When you make a decision about who to establish communication with, it may not be a particularly well-informed one.
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.
Online dating sites help fill the gap that our busy lives have created in our search for connection.