Social Media Dating Interview Project

June 22, 2009

Social Media Dating Interview Project

Social Media Dating Interview Project

By: Chelsea Grint, Tara Seymour, and Phoebe O’Brien 

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to investigate how individuals portray themselves while engaging in social media when trying to find a personal relationship. 

Objectives

  1. To explore why individuals decide to use social media dating.
  2. To understand how individuals explore social media, including which ones they chose to use and if their experiences have promoted further use or deterrence.
  3. To learn the guidelines individuals have for themselves when communicating online and selecting dates.
  4. To find out how honest individual portrayals are (including profiles and conversation topics).
  5. To explore whether participants reveal their online dating experiences with friends and/or family. 

Methodology

Our investigation began with brainstorming objectives and questions to answer our social media dating inquiries.  After brainstorming we made the decision on five objectives and 13 questions, and we organized these questions according to the objective it would support.  We then separated and each conducted a personal, in depth audio interview, with one person of our choice for a total of three interviews.  Tara interviewed Mike on June 9 for 23 minutes, Phoebe interviewed Shaune on June 17 for six minutes and Chelsea interviewed Robert on June17 for seven minutes.  The technology used for this investigation included audacity, microphones, laptops, lame file, box.net, a camera for back up (Chelsea) and a hand held recording device for back up (Tara).

Results with quotes

  1. Individuals decide to use social media dating for a number of reasons: the feeling of loneliness, the individual(s) has moved to new area and does not know many people, they are tired of the bar scene or the ways they have tried dating previously, and the individual can get to know who they are going out with before meeting them (including similar interests, likes and dislikes).
  • Shaune said, “I was living in a town where I didn’t know anybody and I wanted to meet people.”
  • Mike Said, “I figured I could see who a person really was before I actually met them. I figured if they were being truthful on the site about who they were then I could essentially go by that and see if I could find something compatible before I even met them.” 
  • Rob said, “I don’t know, there’s no any one reason specifically I guess.  I don’t know, it was after about semester, I was single and I just kind of put something out there and saw what was going to happen.  All the means I was using earlier weren’t really yielding any new results anymore so I figured I would give this a shot, something new and different.”

 

  1. Our personal interviews revealed two Match.com users (Mike and Shaune), and one Craig’s list user (Rob).  All three users were part of facebook and myspace, and Mike used these on accident. Shaune was slightly discouraged with the online dating process and the unfamiliarly of the individuals she was communicating with. Rob posted a few ads on Craig’s List and was not deterred from trying again. Mike had good experiences, enjoyed himself and had fun for a year and a half. 
  • Shaune said, “Just meeting people and going on dates with people that I really wasn’t interested in, because meeting them in person, they weren’t really what I wanted and having to sit through a date with them which was a bummer.”
  • Rob said, “Nothing tremendously positive or negative actually.  Just kind of middle of the road, middling results overall. Nothing to persuade me. I would return if the need arises.”
  • Mike said, “I’ve had probably three or four good experiences, umm, but just either geared towards either bad timing. The problem is, I ran into a lot of people who were just in a different point in their life than I was so nothing could really come about it.”

 

  1. The guidelines that our interviewees had while communicating and choosing dates differed. Shaune wanted to have fun and wasn’t interested in a serious relationship because she is young. Mike wanted a more meaningful long-lasting relationship and was hoping the social media outlets would guide him to that outcome. Mike’s dad was on Match and had success, so Mike did not look elsewhere for other resources. He paid initially for match.com’s services but was tricked into his payments for a year and a half. On match.com, if you do not cancel after the selected term; it automatically charges the credit card for a continuous term. Rob had tried online dating because he felt nothing else was working. He was not clear what type of relationship he was seeking. Rob used Craig’s list because it was free and interesting.  Rob had guidelines about being cautious when giving out personal information, and he did not pay. 
  • Rob said, “No I haven’t really paid. I feel there is a fair number of quality resources that are available for free that you can engage in without paying for.”
  • Shaune said, “I’m concerned that I might meet someone who is crazy and that could physically hurt me.”
  • Mike said, “I did use myspace back when it first came out because I noticed a lot of girls were messaging me with corny pick-up lines and all that stuff and I was like Hey! I didn’t know this could be a dating thing.  But match, yes, I paid for a year and a half.  It’s like 100 bucks for six months or something like that. And, um, I tried it because they had this six month guarantee.” 
  • Shaune said, “The only sites I knew where you could um…you know fill out a profile, and the other people and to really find out about the person, you had to pay. I didn’t come across any sites that were free.”
  • Mike said, “The concerns I have are about people lying, people not really being who they are.” 

 

  1. All three individuals were overall honest while portraying themselves online. Rob did not have a profile, but he answered a few ads and posted his own advertisement on Craig’s List about what he was looking for in a mate. He was truthful and honest during conversation with new individuals. Shaune and Mike were very honest about their personalities on their profiles. However, the photo use was varied. Shaune chose only to show herself from the neck up while Mike showed full body images of himself. Mike also had lengthy paragraphs on his page describing detailed characteristics of himself and what he was looking for out of love and life.  
  • Mike said, “I believe you should be really up front with who you are as a person or you are just lying to yourself, and you will never find what you are looking for.”
  • Shaune said, “I was honest. I tried to come across as fun and fun loving, because at that point in my life I was really just looking to have a good time and to party. I mean, for the possibility of finding a love match, like a boyfriend but more so just to have fun, so I really played up the fun side of my personality.”
  • Rob said, “I try and be honest about it.  Anything that happens is not surreptitious by its nature, I don’t try to hide anything or embellish anything.  But obviously, you’ll subconsciously, I guess, play up good traits while downplaying your bad traits.  But it’s nothing I’d try and downplay.  It’s not like I have a giant goiter that I won’t mention, I’m fairly normal looking.”

 

  1. When it comes to other people knowing about their pursuits in social media daiting the individuals seemed to be fairly open about the topic, but only if social media dating was brought up in a conversation.
  • Rob said,“I wouldn’t deny it.  I can’t fabricate a story about how I met somebody.  You know?  I’m not hiding it but I’m not obviously telling everybody about it.”
  • Shaune said, “It’s not something I hide. It’s also not something I advertise. But I don’t have any problem sharing it.”
  • Mike said, “All my family members know and only my close friends know about my online thing because people I don’t talk to on a regular basis I don’t feel like they need to know, so there is no point.”

 

Conclusion

All participants were honest about what they were looking for and in portraying themselves through their choice of social media. The individuals had their own personal reasons for using the social media outlet; all had the desire to meet others and decided to use this new avenue because they were discouraged with the norm.  Each participant went on sites that matched what they were looking for and used the sites reputations for guidelines.  The in depth interview gave us a different perspective about this topic. Previously we concluded that people were very private about social media dating. But here, with the interviews, people became more open and honest about their motives. The interview took us from observation assumptions to the reality of what each member was thinking and feeling during their.   
 
 

Appendix-transcript and copy of interview guide

Interview guide questions

1.  Why did you start using social media dating? 

2.  What motivates you to engage in social media dating? 

3.   What concerns do you have with social media dating?

4.  How open are you about sharing your personal information with others?

5.  Do your family and/or friends know about your social media dating pursuits?

6.  Why or why not?  Explain.

7.  Have you had any good experiences that encouraged you to continue social media dating?  What are they?

8.  Have you had any bad experiences that have deterred you from using social media dating?  What are they?

9.  What are you looking for when you search?

10.  Do you pay to engage in social media dating? Why or why not?

11.  What sites do you use?                                        

12.  What do you think about these sites in terms of finding dates?

13.  How would you describe the person you portray yourself to be online?    

Interview Transcripts:

Transcript:

Phoebe and Shaune

Phoebe:    Why did you start using social media dating?

Shaune:   Because I was living in a town where I didn’t know anybody and I wanted to meet people.

Phoebe: What motivated you to engage in social media dating?

Shaune: Um ….I’m motivated by the want to meet new people, and potentially a future love match.

Phoebe: What concerns do you have with social media dating?

Shaune: I’m concerned that I might meet someone who is crazy and that could physically hurt me.

Phoebe: How open are you about sharing your personal information with others online, like how much do you share. And what kind of things do you share?

Shaune: Um, I don’t share a whole lot. Just my basic information and my interests and a snapshot of my personality and I’ll share more as I get to know the person, in person.

Phoebe: Do your friends and your family know about your social media dating. Like do your friends know that you have done online dating?

Shaune: It’s not something I hide. It’s also not something I advertise. But I don’t have any problem sharing it.

Phoebe: Um, have you had any good experiences that have caused you to continue on that? And if so did you have any success, or anything that was positive?

Shaune: No, I didn’t have any successful relationships as an outcome. I did meet some interesting people and it did allow me to meet people in a place where I didn’t know anybody. And I would consider doing it in the future if I were not currently in a relationship.

Phoebe: Have you had any bad experiences that kind of scared you away from it…um…or freaked you out? If so, what are they?

S: Ummm. No not any really bad ones that scared me.  Just meeting people and going on dates with people that I really wasn’t interested in, because meeting them in person, they weren’t really what I wanted and having to sit through a date with them which was a bummer….but.

Phoebe: Ummm….when you’re searching online, what are you looking for, what were you looking for?

Shaune: I was looking for ummm..just a potential, maybe someone that …. Possibly someone to be in a relationship with, but more just to meet new people and date new people that I normally wouldn’t date or find.

Phoebe: Did you pay to engage in the social media dating?

Shaune: Umm..Yes, I did.  I did pay for like 3 months I think.

Phoebe: Why did you pay?

Shaune: Cause you had to. I mean, there was no…..

Phoebe: I mean, did you go on any sites that were free or did you decide that maybe ..or like did it affect the quality of the person you might meet if you went on a site that you had to pay?

Shaune: Ummm, no. That really didn’t cross my mind. I just…the only sites I knew where you could um…you know fill out a profile, and the other people and to really find out about the person, you had to pay. I didn’t come across any sites that were free.

Phoebe: Ok, What sites did you go to?

Shaune: Match.com.

Phoebe: Ok, What do you think about match.com in terms of finding dates. Do you think it’s legit or a scam, or cheesy or great?  What do you think about it?

Shaune: I think match.com is more for people looking for flings. I don’t know….maybe not. I think that match.com is as selective as some other websites.

Phoebe: How would you describe the person you portrayed yourself to be online? Basically, were you honest, and what parts of yourself did you accent?

Shaune: Uh…I was honest. I tried to come across as fun and fun loving, because at that point in my life I was really just looking to have a good time and to party. I mean, for the possibility of finding a love match, like a boyfriend but more so just to have fun, so I really played up the fun side of my personality.

Phoebe: Were you honest about your age and your status?

Shaune: Yes I was honest about everything.

Phoebe: Ok, Thank you!

 

Transcript:

Tara and Mike

Tara: I’m here today interviewing Mike on how he engages in social media while trying to find a personal relationship. Hi Mike! How are you today? 

Mike: Hi Tara! I’m doing well. It’s good to be here. 

Tara: Good, well my first question for you is why did you start using social media dating? 

Mike: Ok, essentially, I was in a relationship for two years. I actually met the girl online as well, but it was through myspace actually. When it first started up I was like oh whatever I will give it a try. But I didn’t really consider that an online dating thing, I just met someone through myspace. But I really didn’t know the person or anything I just randomly started…I just met them, and then I met up with them at USF actually. I essentially just talked to them and all of that stuff. We were in a relationship for two years. Um, but then they ended up not liking the things that I liked. Towards the end of the relationship it was just a completely different person than when I first starting seeing. So, essentially what I did was talk to my dad about it, and he mentioned he had used match.com, and he had met a whole bunch of people and he was really liking it. So, he told me to try it out. So I tried it out and essentially after that, I figured I’d try it out because I figured I could see who a person really was before I actually met them. I figured if they were being truthful on the site about who they were then I could essentially go by that and see if I could find something compatible before I even met them. So, I guess that’s my answer for that question I suppose.  

Tara: Great, Ok so, what motivates you to engage in social media dating? 

Mike: Um, essentially to try and find someone who is…I don’t know…just has similar thoughts as me. When I’m looking for someone that I want to be with in a relationship I want someone I’m compatible with in the sense of we like to do a lot of the same things and not just physical attraction or something like that. I want to actually be able to do things with the person and both people want to do them and enjoy them. I mean I guess, motivation is to find that. I mean most relationships I have been in personally they have turned out to, I don’t know, we like the same things but we don’t like a lot of the same things. So I want to try and find something to where we like most of the same things and it’s a healthy relationship in that sense. I don’t know, I guess that’s it.  

Tara: Good, well what concerns do you have with online dating or social media dating?  

(Mikes: Oh so you hold the microphone) 

Mike: Um the concerns I have are about people lying, people not really being who they are. Because, an online dating thing you have pictures and you have descriptions of themselves. A lot of the people that I have met online um, not a lot but some of the people I have met online, they haven’t looked what there pictures were or they end up not really being what they saying they were online. So, it’s easy to weed those people out because you can meet them in person and if you don’t like them then not see them ever again or whatever it’s no real big deal. I guess people just not being truthful about it. So, yeah… 

Tara: How open are you about sharing your personal information with others? 

Mike: On the website? 

Tara: Yes. 

Mike: Oh, umm, like when I first talk to someone? Or, just like writing about my profile?  

Tara: Um, in general for both like on your profile and then when you, you start to get to know someone, start communicating with them. 

Mike: Oh well I’m pretty open with who I am as a person. I believe you should be really up front with who you are as a person or you are just lying to yourself, and you will never find what you are looking for. I mean, if you are not truthful to yourself… you have to be truthful to yourself before you are truthful to other people. So, I mean, I am very open about it.. When you are typing in your profile you want to make sure you are typing in every single thing that you want because, you know, if you are typing in other things that other people want than you’re not really going to get what you want, so I type everything about what I like and what I feel and when I initially talk to someone if I feel they are worth the time and I feel that they are something that I like then I open even more or according to how far it goes, you know? 

Tara: Do your family and or friends know about your social media use media dating use? 

Mike: Some do, as I told you earlier my dad obviously introduced me to online dating thing. So he was the one who told me about it and encouraged me to do it. And he has actually been in a relationship now for almost two years of meeting a woman online. So um, I think they all know. All my family members know and only my close friends know about my online thing because people I don’t talk to on regular bases I don’t feel like they need to know, so there is no point. It’s like hey! How are you? by the way…online dating! You know, it doesn’t really make any sense. It’s not really a conversation starter unless it comes up in a conversation. If it comes up than I don’t mind saying it, not really ashamed of it I suppose. It’s becoming a pretty commonality these days. 

Tara: Have you had any good experiences that encourage you to continue social media dating? And what are they?  

Mike: Um, what are they? Um, I have had…I’ve met some promising people, I really have. I have met a lot of people I’ve dated social…I was on match.com for a year and a half…um, before I cancelled my membership and I met a lot of really cool people and there were a lot of people who were really what I was looking for um, but I met a lot of people that really were what I was looking for. And um, I already forgot the question, so what was the question again?  

Tara: What were your good experiences? 

Mike: Oh good experiences, good experiences! Ok, um, yeah, the good experiences, um… you know, I’ve had probably three or four good experiences, umm, but just either geared towards either bad timing. The problem is, I ran into a lot of people who were just in a different point in their life than I was so nothing could really come about it, um, or like, I liked everything about them but like they just had a few things about them I didn’t like. Um, which doesn’t make me classify them, you know, as a bad experience but just that they aren’t everything that I want. So like, I don’t know if I necessarily want to pursue all my time in it. And, uh, but yeah, I definitely had some good experiences. Um, I uh, I cancelled my membership…I didn’t cancel my membership because I wasn’t necessarily finding what I wanted I cancelled it because I uh, I graduated and I don’t know where I’m going to be in the next year or so and I didn’t want to necessarily investing the money in it, especially in these economic times…so that was my main thing. Money was probably the main thing there was a lot of other stuff, but not because it’s not fun. I don’t know if that answers your question. I guess so.  

Tara: That was good. Have you had any bad experiences that have deterred you from using social media dating and what are they?
Mike: What are they? Was the first one what are they too? 

Tara: You did a good job answering the question, so just like if you have had any bad experiences what happened to make it bad?  

Mike: Oh oh, ok um, was I suppose to do it for the first one too though? 

Tara: You did good, you did great 

Mike: Um, let see the bad experiences, I have had some bad experiences. Um, so for one thing I’m a very in-shape person um, I value my fitness very much, and um… I am sure most people have experienced with myspace and facebook in general uh, it is referred to as the “myspace pose” or the “facebook pose” where people take these weird angles where it like kinda gets their face but not their body, so it essentially. I ran across some of those where the profile is done alright um and they have pretty faces and stuff but they’ve been kinda iffy on the pictures, but I will give them a shot anyways and they just end up being nothing like I said earlier. I had one experience one time where I met this girl and um, we went and got tea and we walked around for a little while. And the entire time she had told me on the phone that um, cuz she wasn’t very talkative on the phone. She was like “oh don’t worry I’m a lot better in person, I’m a lot better in person.” So I was like ok I will meet her in person. I meet her in person and um yeah, she was mute like couldn’t talk like couldn’t…it was just horrible, I had to start every single conversation the entire night. And it was just, it was just like really annoying. I mean, I wouldn’t say it would deterrent me because I’m like ok well obvious that person wasn’t necessarily lying or necessarily truthful. You know, so um, things clearly they weren’t who they were saying they were. That was a bad experience. Oh, oh, oh I have another bad experience. How are we on time? Essentially I was with this girl for a couple of months I dated her. She turned out to be a complete psycho like, she was okay, it turned out she was turning out she was giving me out everything that I wanted. She said she recognized my personality type and she was doing that because she knew what type of stuff I liked um, but then one day out of the blue she was like “I don’t want to see you anymore.” It was a complete train wreck. Because, it was like you train your entire life that when you find something that is everything that you want, that is generally what you…ok you are suppose to be happy that is what you are suppose to go after. You are like ok great, this is what I want this is what everyone said it was suppose to be like this is the feeling you are suppose to have. Even after having that it still ended so that was kind of like a deterrent. Cuz I’m like Ok well, if I could have everything and it was perfect and it still didn’t work out then what the hell is the point? You know, so that was my worst experience with it and that was probably one of the most recent ones so….I’d say there is a couple. Those are my two ones I could remember the most. I could give you other ones and they aren’t that bad. I don’t know how much time you have. There was another one where the girl just wasn’t really going anywhere in life and it wasn’t really a deterrent really but it wasn’t a good experience. It was kind of hard because she really liked me but I realized she really wasn’t what I was looking for so it was kind of hard to tell her no and I felt bad. And I was like do I really want to do this again? Do I want to get involved in this again? That was actually the first one I met off of match.com awhile ago. Obviously I kept doing it if I was on for a year and a half so uh, ok those are good ones. You got three.  

Tara: Very good! So, what are you looking for when you do a search? 

Mike: When I do a search? Well, most of these sites they have something for a mutual search um, so essentially I have all these questions when you first join the website, what you like, what your interest are and all of that stuff. I always do mutual searches. They usually give you a percent meter of how much percent you match the person. I usually go by that and when I get that. What I look for…can I say what I actually look for in the profile? Is that what the question is? Once I do that and see they match me a certain percent great, whatever. Then I look at their profile and see how detailed they are, how much they are explaining about themselves. Generally what I’ve noticed is if somebody types a novel in their profile they are generally a pretty outgoing person. I, myself, type a novel as well. I’m a pretty outgoing person and I like to talk as it is probably relevant in this video. But um, I look for if they are really descriptive, if their grammar is well, if they can type, if they sound smart, if they seem like they are putting sentences together, how much they type, if it is relevant, if its not just like… oh gosh I have pet peeves when I do searches: if people use all caps, or they don’t make full sentences, or if they have one really long run on sentence, of it they have no grammar. It absolutely drives me crazy. and um, so essentially I look for. Obviously interest, if they are interested in the same things as me and my activities I like to do if they have the same activities that they like. If it is the same because then obviously I can see I can go off and do something with this person on a regular basis and they won’t be like why are we don’t that I don’t want to do that again. They will be like ok great, lets go! Because they like to do it as well. I guess those are some things I search. Obviously there looks that is kind of the first thing…back track. The first thing that draws you in is there picture. Obviously if they are not what you are looking for picture-wise than you don’t really search that further. Unless they have a really good opening statement where you are like wholly crap they sound pretty cool. And then you will look at it. Um, because that is an attractive thing as well if they are really intelligent and not necessarily like super attractive to you. That is just as attractive to me is someone being intelligent and being able to speak well. They don’t have to be drop dead gorgeous if they are really smart. I guess there are compensative factors when you are looking for someone. You weigh the pros and the cons it’s is kind of the same thing when you are doing your search.

Tara: Do you pay to engage in social media dating? Why or why not? 

Mike: Do I pay? Well yeah, match is a paying website. So, myspace and facebook those aren’t paying websites but I do know of people who have talked to people on those. Like I said earlier in the interview I met this girl I dated for two years on myspace before they had all these crazy restrictions like they have now. But match, yes, I paid for a year and a half. It’s like 100 bucks for six months or something like that. And, um, I tried it because they had this six month guarantee. Match has a six month guarantee if you don’t find anyone in your first six months than you don’t pay for your second six months. But I guess there are all these restrictions, and I didn’t read those restrictions, and then I automatically paid for a second six months and then I was just like screw it, I will just stay on it. Then the same thing happened a third time so that’s why I was on for a year and a half because I was like screw it I already paid for it so I min as well keep doing it. I know that was a long answer I guess.  

Tara: What sites do you use or have you used in the past? 

Mike: Well I already said that (laughs). Um yea, obviously match.com, I use facebook as a friends thing, I don’t use it for dating. I did use myspace back when it first came out because I noticed a lot of girls were messaging me with corny pick-up lines and all that stuff and I was like Hey! I didn’t know this could be a dating thing. So I did date some girls off of myspace back in the day when it first came out awhile ago. I think it was like senior year of high school or something like that. So I guess myspace when it first came out and match.com are the two that I used for dating.  

Tara: What do you think about these sites as in terms for finding dates? 

Mike: Uh, myspace not so much anymore, I don’t even bother anymore. I don’t even go on there anymore. Match.com, I liked it at first but the more that I used it the more it seemed like it…uh I heard a really good quote somewhere online. Someone said it was like an online bar. I was like, that kind of does make sense. You get a picture and a paragraph you are searching through all these people and instead of going by looks like you would at a bar you go by looks and a paragraph and stuff like that. That is necessarily a bad thing. Um, but it’s like… I already blanked on that question again, one more time.  

Tara: What do you think about finding dates on these sites?  

Mike: What do you thinking about finding dates on these sites…um, gosh, I get side tracked really easily. What do I think about finding dates on these sites? Oh yea, I remember what I was talking about. Um, yeah, on match I originally was finding a lot of people but after awhile I wasn’t really finding what I wanted. Well I was, they just weren’t really working out as well. Um, I was just like well maybe I will take a break. Maybe it’s not necessarily something with me but maybe I should just chill for awhile. It’s easy to date people on them, it’s easy, and you have people messaging you. It’s very easy to communicate with people. I don’t know how hard it is for someone who is unattractive. I don’t know. I would like to think I am an attractive person. Um, so it wasn’t really hard for me to find a date. I could generally find what I wanted and I was getting people who were messaging me and all that stuff. But, um, it’s not really that hard….are you talking about just dating someone or finding someone you could be with for along time? 

Tara: Both. 

Mike: Both, match.com I don’t know. I think it would be really hard to find someone on match.com that you could be with for along time. I really think it depends on your age. My dad for example, he is in his 50’s and by that age you really know what you want. You’ve had a lot of experience you really know what you want; you are established in your life, hopefully financially. You can really weed out a lot of stuff because you have had a lot of experience. But I think at a younger age like early 20’s and even in your teens, I would say it’s really hard to find a marriage partner. Dating, sure great, you can date people no problem. Um, but not finding a marriage partner, because people don’t really know where they are going yet. People don’t know, they are often still in college, they don’t know where they will be at after college. Ideally, you would like to be in the same area some people want to travel. A lot of people on these websites say they want to travel here, I want to travel there, I want to go here, I wan t go there. Well it’s like if I start dating you, and you move somewhere else, how is that going to work out? There are just a lot of factors in it…there really is. I hope that was good enough for you.  

Tara: And how would you describe the person you portray yourself to be online? 

Mike: The person I portray myself to be? It’s me! It’s very honest. I type in my profile…I was very in depth with my profile. I thought very hard about typing with myself. I wanted to get the general jist of who I was for a person looking through. I mean, I believe in my profile I believe I had two or three really long paragraphs. My opinion is if someone doesn’t want to read through the paragraph then they are not what I’m looking for. But if someone does and they come back and they ask me really in depth about something in the middle of it then they were really paying attention. So, I’m very open and honest about who I am. I am very confident that I know who I am as a person and I’ve been able to find myself and what I want in someone in who I date. I portray that in what I’m looking for, I say exactly what I’m looking for, I say exactly the type of person that I am, I say exactly what I like in life, and what I’m hoping the other person would like as well. And hopefully I was hoping I could find someone like that. I have, but it hasn’t worked out as well. But, I have been very honest, I guess that is how I portray myself very honest and open I suppose. Is that good? 

Tara: That’s great. Thank you so much. That concludes our interview for today. So thanks! 

Mike: Alright, thank you. 

Tara: Thank you.

 

Transcript:

Chelsea and Rob

Chelsea: Okay, why did you start using…why did you start using social media dating?

Rob: I don’t know, there’s no any one reason specifically I guess.  I don’t know, it was after about semester, I was single and I just kind of put something out there and saw what was going to happen.

 

Chelsea: Which one did you use?

 

Rob: I actually tried Craig’s list.  I put up an ad or two and replied to a couple.

 

Chelsea: What motivated you to engage in the social media dating?

 

Rob: Isn’t that kind of the same question?

 

Chelsea: Sort of actually, now that I am looking at why, what motivates: probably like, think along the terms of loneliness or boredom or tired of the social scene…

 

Rob: I mean, sure.  All the means I was using earlier weren’t really yielding any new results anymore so I figured I would give this a shot, something new and different.

 

Chelsea: What concerns did you have with social media dating?  Or do you have?

 

Rob: Obviously I was new to it, I was cautious about it, but there weren’t any huge concerns to me about anything. 

 

Chelsea: What do you mean cautious?

 

Rob: Obviously, there is certain language they use, or terms that you are not going to be necessarily aware of, but after reading a couple of ads or a couple pages worth you become familiar with what they are looking for or speaking about.

 

Chelsea: Online, how open are you about sharing your personal info with others?  Because you said you were cautious, so that is going to play into this.  Sharing your personality or who you are, how open are you about sharing that with other people?

 

Rob: I’ll put up a picture, maybe first name and last initial, secondary email address, something like that.  Usually don’t put up last name or phone number, that sort of stuff.

 

Chelsea: Do you…do your family and or friends know about your social media dating?

 

Rob: Not really um that’s, it’s the same way I wouldn’t really talk to them about going to a bar and picking up a girl…that’s the same thing to me really.

 

Chelsea: What if someone asked?  If someone asked you are you going to say ‘yea I did it’?

 

Rob: I wouldn’t deny it.  I can’t fabricate a story about how I met somebody.  You know?  I’m not hiding it but I’m not obviously telling everybody about it.

Chelsea: Right, and I would go into why or why not, but you already did that.  Have you had any good experiences that encouraged you to continue?  If so what are they?

 

Rob: Nothing tremendously positive or negative actually.  Just kind of middle of the road, middling results overall.  Nothing to persuade me.  I would return if the need arises. 

 

Chelsea: So you would return?  So there were no bad experiences that have deterred you?

 

Rob: Nothing really happened to deter.  Talked to a couple people so, I can’t complain about that.

 

Chelsea: What are you looking for in your search?

 

Rob: Obviously physically attractive, would be a positive. More so than that, someone I can actually converse with.  Maybe some similar interests or interesting personality or character traits, stuff like that.

 

Chelsea: I’m going to assume Female?

 

Rob: Yes

 

Chelsea: (Laughing) Did you…have you paid to engage in social media dating?  Why or why not?

 

Rob: No I haven’t really paid.  I feel there is a fair number of quality resources that are available for free that you can engage in without paying for. 

 

Chelsea: What sites did you use?  Just Craig’s list?

 

Rob: Pretty much just Craig’s list, and I talked to a couple people through like facebook and what not, I guess that could count. 

 

Chelsea: What do you think about these sites in terms of finding dates?

 

Rob: It’s pretty much any of the negatives of meeting people out in public; running into somebody and striking up a conversation at a bar or restaurant.   Positives would be that you are in your home at your own time so you don’t have to really be in a certain place or go out a certain night and meet a large pool of people that are interested in dating. 

 

Chelsea: How would you describe the person you portray yourself to be online?  Very honest?  Do you embellish certain things that you like about yourself?  Omit certain things that you don’t, or hide things? 

 

Rob: I try and be honest about it.  Anything that happens is not surreptitious by its nature, I don’t try to hide anything or embellish anything.  But obviously, you’ll subconsciously, I guess, play up good traits while downplaying your bad traits.  But it’s nothing I’d try and downplay.  It’s not like I have a giant goiter that I won’t mention, I’m fairly normal looking.

 

Chelsea: (Laughing) Okay, Thank you.

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May 28, 2009

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