Digital Dating: On The Web Profile Content of Older and Younger Grownups

Digital Dating: On The Web Profile Content of Older and Younger Grownups

” communication must be addressed to Eden M. Davis, MA, Department of Human developing and Family Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, 108 E Dean Keeton St, avoid A2702, Austin, TX 78712-1248. Email: eden.

” Choice Editor: Bob Knight, PhD

Eden M. Davis, Karen L. Fingerman, Digital Dating: on the web Profile information of Older and Younger grownups, The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, amount 71, Issue 6, November 2016, Pages 959–967, https: //


Older grownups are employing online dating sites internet sites in increasing figures. Grownups of various many years may share motivations for companionship and love, but profiles that are dating reveal variations in grownups’ objectives. Theories handling changes that are age-related inspiration declare that more youthful grownups will likely stress on their own, achievements, attractiveness, and sexuality. Older grownups will likely prove definitely and stress their relationships that are existing wellness.

We accumulated 4,000 dating pages from two popular sites to look at age variations in self-presentations. We utilized stratified sampling to acquire a test similarly split by sex, aged 18–95 years. We identified 12 themes within the pages making use of Linguistic Inquiry and term Count software (Pennebaker, Booth, & Francis, 2007).

Regression analyses revealed that older grownups had been very likely to make use of first-person plural pronouns ( ag e.g., we, our) and terms connected with health insurance and emotions that are positive. Young grownups had been almost certainly going to make use of first-person pronouns that are singulare.g., I, my) and terms connected with work and success.

Findings claim that more youthful grownups boost the “self” whenever searching for partnership that is romantic. In comparison, older grownups tend to be more positive inside their pages while focusing more on connectedness and relationships to other people.

Because of societal trends and dead stigma, internet dating is currently perhaps one of the most typical means for grownups of all of the many years to locate an enchanting partner (Rosenfeld & Thomas, 2012; Stephure, Boon, MacKinnon, & Deveau, 2009). Certainly, popular news report that more older grownups have found dates online (Watson, 2013) with one supply claiming that grownups aged 60 and older represent the greatest growing portion of adults using internet dating sites (Ellin, 2014). As such, online profiles offer a distinctive possibility to examine similarities and variations in younger and older adults’ self-presentations when looking for a partner that is dating.

Self-presentation plays a role that is central finding dating lovers; potential lovers utilize this information to choose whether or not to begin a relationship (Derlega, Winstead, Wong, & Greenspan, 1987). Few research reports have analyzed age variations in dating self-presentations ( e.g., Alterovitz & Mendelsohn, 2009; 2013; McWilliams & Barrett, 2014) and have now relied on content analysis and qualitative analysis. A systematic analysis that is quantitative of language grownups used in dating pages may further illuminate motivations up to now at various many years.

Grownups of most many years may share certain motivations up to now, including companionship and love. Nonetheless, grownups of various many years have actually distinct objectives, priorities, and motivations, which their self-presentations to possible dating partners may convey. Predictions in this research had been based on three key theories—sociocultural theories, evolutionary concept, and socioemotional selectivity concept. Collectively, these theories declare that individuals of various many years may promote themselves in distinct means whenever looking for partners that are romantic.

In line with the framework of adulthood, adults’ self-presentations may focus on life tasks directed at gaining a foothold in adult functions, pursuing future achievements, and purchasing prospective procreation (and sex). On the other hand, in belated life, people may seek intimate lovers who is able to be a part of their founded social globe. In the place of searching for brand brand new achievements, older grownups’ self-presentations might be centered on economic and real security. This study explored exactly how objectives and motivations over the life time might be strongly related grownups’ presentations in their profile content.

Self- Versus Other-Focus and Social Connections

Sociocultural theories declare that more youthful and older grownups may vary inside their objectives regarding by themselves versus their connections to other people (Hoppmann & Blanchard-Fields, 2010). In young adulthood, people participate in identification research and concentrate on self-relevant objectives such as for instance accepting responsibility for one’s self and making independent decisions (Arnett, 2000). On the other hand, generativity issues are heightened in midlife and soon after life, having a focus regarding the needs for the next generation (An & Cooney, 2006). Furthermore, in a communal context (Fingerman, 2001) as they age, adults concentrate on connections to family, viewing themselves. According to a very long time of investment, ties to relatives and buddies are of heightened value to older grownups (Blieszner, 2006).

Individuals’ self-presentations may mirror age differences in motivations for the self along with other. Certainly, the language individuals utilize whenever constructing their self-presentations may convey such distinctions. Prior research shows that across a number of contexts, adults utilize more first-person single pronouns, showing a more powerful concentrate on the self, whereas older grownups use more first-person plural pronouns, showing a concentrate on connections (Pennebaker & rock, 2003; Schwartz et al., 2013).

We additionally examined sex variations in these habits. Elsewhere, Groom and Pennebaker (2005) analyzed online dating sites pages of more youthful grownups and discovered that ladies had been prone to make use of pronouns (especially first-person single) than had been guys. Furthermore, older females additionally are an integral in keeping family members ties or serving being a “kinkeeper” (Brown & DeRycke, 2010), and also this may expand for their presentations to prospective dating partners.

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