- It’s OK to slightly misrepresent a certain characteristic, as long as it’s something you can change/improve.
When building our online image, most of us draw from past, present, and future selves. In other words, we share pictures in which we look slightly younger or thinner; we describe our current hobbies and activities; and write about our future goals.
Based on the answers provided by participants, one of the first conclusions of the study was that people don’t mind if we exaggerate certain qualities, as long as these traits are changeable. For example, discrepancies related to hairstyle or makeup are acceptable, whereas those related to height or age are not.
- Most online daters will perceive our profile as a promise, not a 100% accurate image of ourselves
Since misrepresentation is such a common practice among people who use online dating platforms, it’s no surprise that so many of them are relatively OK with it.
In fact, the authors who conducted the study believe that a dating profile is more of a promise rather than an accurate description. To put it differently, we bring our best qualities and skills together to create an ideal image that we aspire to.
Consequently, people who view our dating profile will compare this ideal image with the real one (that is if we end up going on an actual date) and evaluate the discrepancy between who we are and who we say we are. That is the reason why if we «fudge» too much, either in our description or our pictures, chances are the other person will end up feeling disappointed and turn us down.