When you present yourself to potential suitors in an online dating profile, you are, in the terminology of psychology, ‘constructing the self’. Perhaps it’s not surprising then, that the most attractive profiles are being ripped off and plagiarised by lazy daters wanting to freeload on the most creative members’ personalities.
The Wall Street Journal has an article which looks on how this practice has developed and uncovers several cases where romantic lines, funny descriptions and personal reflections are copied over and over again.
Psychologist Sherry Turkle’s ground-breaking book Life on the Screen looked at the online construction of the self during the days of text based communication, MOOs and MUDs.
As we become increasingly tied to our online profiles, owing to the popularity of sites like MySpace, Facebook and numerous dating services, it’s not surprising that they become more intimately associated with our own ideas about who we are.
They are also more easily copied than offline ways of expressing ourselves, leading to the situation where daters wanting to get lucky can just remix other people’s personalities to maximise their chances of success.
Link to WSJ article ‘The Cut-and-Paste Personality’.