Monday, February 12, 2007
Shocking new scientific evidence revealed in this month's Scientific American that a staggering 90% of online daters lie in their personal ads.
According to the article, (and a funnier one in the Inquirer) survey research conducted by media researcher Jeana Frost of Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggests that about 20 percent of online daters admit to deception. If you ask them how many other people are lying, however--an interviewing tactic that probably gets closer to the truth--that number jumps to 90 percent.
The research verifies the obvious:
- On average, online profiles shave off about five pounds and add perhaps an inch in height.
- For men, the major areas of deception are educational level, income, height, age and marital status; at least 13 percent of online male suitors are thought to be married.
- For women, the major areas of deception are weight, physical appearance and age.only 1 percent of online daters listed their appearance as "less than average."
The researchers also found that the dating services themselves lie about the number of users--saying that 50 million Americans use Internet personal ads. But recent independent studies suggest that only 16 million Americans were using online dating services by late 2005 and that satisfaction levels were low.
Jupiter Research reports that "barely one quarter of users reported being very satisfied or satisfied with online personals sites." Another survey conducted by Pew Internet & American Life Projects suggests that 66 percent of Internet users even think that online dating is a "dangerous activity."
The writer concludes: "Long-term relationships take patience, skill and effort. In cyberspace, unfortunately, the bar is so long and the action so quick that few people are willing to put up with even the slightest imperfection in a potential mate. If someone is the wrong height or wears the wrong shoes or makes the wrong kind of joke, he or she is often dismissed instantly. After all, it is a simple matter to go back and click, with tens of thousands of potential mates ready to fill the void."