This is one heck of an online dating profile and would spark curiosity of most men, but is it believable? It seems that “telling lies on-line” is pretty common for online dating sites. The fictitious profile seems a little far-fetched, but is it? It’s inherent in us to present ourselves in the best light possible and there is a difference to how we view ourselves and how others view us.
As studies have shown exaggeration is common for both sexes as a way to attract the opposite sex. Men, for the most part, will exaggerate about their wealth and status attracting more women to their profile sites and women will exaggerate about their physical attractiveness (or body image) attracting more men for the same reason. Based on the study Separating Fact From Fiction: An Examination of Deceptive Self-Presentation in Online Dating Profiles people believe the majority of online profiles are not 100% truthful, when it relates to the information supplied. The good news is, the exaggerations are minor and not usually deal breakers. http://psp.sagepub.com/content/34/8/1023.abstract
How we present ourselves in profiles for online dating sites are similar to how we present ourselves on any social media sites. Facebook is filled with photos of people looking and sounding their best. When someone takes a “selfie” chances are they’ve taken several pictures and only post the one that creates the image they want the world to see. The same holds true for comments posted; generally they don’t mention bad grades, bloated bodies, or face breakouts. We tend to only post things that make us look good, funny or smart. The same can be said for all social media sites including Twitter, MySpace or Tumblr. We seek positive feedback; we want comments back that say cute, awesome or right on. Generally these exaggerations are harmless, but in some cases they’re destructive.
We’ve all heard the Catfish tales, where people have carried out “relationships” for years with fictitious men and women. Entire fabricated characters are created for the sole purpose of subterfuge. This type of deception can only be achieved online and it would be impossible to accomplish in person. The biggest headline-grabbing example of this is the Manti Te’o story. He believed himself in a long-term relationship with a woman he met on-line; until it was discovered that she never existed. Ultimately he confessed to having never met the woman. The reality for Manti was his girlfriend was nothing but a hoax.
What’s thought provoking is why people would post fake personas to online dating or social media sites. In an article posted by Time Entertainment they delve into the psychology on why some people feel compelled to go to extremes to create these non-existent personas. Based on their data the most common reasons are revenge, homophobia, addicted to attention, sexual identity anxiety, and low self-esteem.
Have you ever posted anything on-line to a dating site or any other social media site that was exaggerated? If so, how big was the exaggeration?
Have you experienced deception from others, via a dating site or any other social media site? If so, how big of a deception was it?