All individuals are unique. Our personalities and preferences are a conglomeration of what we know, what we’ve learned, and what we’ve witnessed. Many qualitative thinkers believe that one must understand the individuals involved in a study to truly understand their human communication and connection (Wrench, Thomas-Maddox, Richmond, McMroskey 2008). With that being said, we will be studying the characteristics and tendencies of both self-identifying introverts and extroverts and comparing them to what we know about the trends of online dating and online dating preferences. Introverts are recognized for having shy and timid qualities that often lead to difficulty in social situations. Though introverts may have trouble in face to face interactions, the internet and social media allow them to engage in a different type of communication.
According to Hamburger, Wainapel, & Fox (2002), people who are introverts or neurotic because of their difficulties in social interactions will locate their “real me” through the internet. Knowing that online exchanges can create a new personality trait, more people have converted to online dating. A study done by Hamburger and Ben-Artzi (2000) found that there were several significant correlations between personality traits and the use of different internet services. The services provided on the internet, with their secrecy, lack of need to reveal physical appearance, and control of information shared in the interaction, provide a perfect escape to people who experience difficulty in forming social relationships due to their introverted personality (Hamburger, Wainapel, & Fox, 2002).
Similarly, Markey & Wells (2002), said that online individuals who were highly introverted became moderate extraverts and people who were moderately extraverted became highly extraverted. Although the internet and online dating may create “false” personalities, introverts will almost always be reserved and uncommunicative in face to face situations. An extroverted personality categorizes individuals who are outgoing and overtly expressive (Hussian et al 2017) – often loud, bold, and assertive. However, Tong (2015) says that perception lies in the eyes of the receiver. That being said, an extroverted action can be perceived as either friendly and confident or annoying and intrusive.
So, how do people with this personality type find someone who interprets their communication type positively? Swift Et al. (2013) says that communication among extroverts tends to use more gestures while communicating, not necessarily to engage the reader, but as a result of an excess amount of energy. Does that mean that online dating mediums are difficult for extroverts, because they are not able to utilize non-verbal communication? Well, according to Chelsey Drysdale who downloaded multiple online dating apps, said that she felt finding love online was significantly harder for non-extroverts like her. The internet has changed many lifestyles and ways of communication among people. The way of connecting people to each other is one of the biggest changes that the internet has made. People meet each other and start relationships by meeting in person, face-to-face.
However, the web has become one of the effective ways to find a date other than from work, school, friends, or social gatherings (Valkentburg, & Peter, 2007). Some people who are not active can be more active in cyberspace to introduce themselves and be more confident to talk to a date whom they like to start relationships (Robbins). Some people who are active in real life also access online dating web sites to connect with people whom they may like in the future. Therefore, more people prefer to meet their dates online rather than face-to-face relationships because they become more confident online than they do offline.
Meanwhile, self-presentation strategies can be represented (Ellison et al., 2006). This phenomenon is significantly affected by characteristics of them whether they are introvert or extrovert people. Online dating is nothing new, but is now a more common practice these days as we enter a digital age with everyone having a smartphone in their pocket. You do not have to go out of your way to be exposed to online dating, we see it marketed in commercials, billboards, and the popular dating app Bumble even has a partnership with the NBA team LA Clippers and they wear the logo as a patch on their jerseys.
At the start of the century you may have been judged for setting up an online profile in hopes of meeting others, it’s said best with “for a long time, the use of Online Dating Agencies was considered to be stigmatizing” (Valkenburg & Peter, 2007). These “speed dating” apps have gained popularity over the traditional online dating sites.
Now you have it all in the palm of your hands and with the two most popular dating apps Tinder and Bumble, all it takes is a simple swipe left or right to show interest in someone or move onto the next. In 2018, “We are Flint” conducted a survey of just over 2000 Tinder users and from their results the age bracket of 18-24 made up 35% of the users, the typical age of college students.
With doing research on introvert and extrovert tendencies, we believe that when conducting a survey on campus we’ll get a result of most people participating in online dating, but also that they will identify themselves having an introverted personality type.