Dating online? Beware of spelling and grammar errors!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

SYDNEY - Dating may have become hi-tech, but romantic rituals remain much the same, says a new study. Like in traditional dating, online love birds are influenced by non-verbal cues like spelling errors, the number of exclamation marks and the use of grammar.

Zoe Hazelwood, psychologist at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), who led the study, has found that traditional and online dating are, in fact, very similar.

For example, she found non-verbal communication was also just as important in online dating as it was in traditional dating, according to a QUT statement.

“Although online traditional non-verbal cues are not present, in our research we found people do judge potential partners on things aside from what they are saying,” she said.

“People form impressions online based on things like spelling errors, use of acronyms, amount of exclamation marks, use of grammar - things like that.

“They may not pursue a relationship with someone if they do not like their writing style, or feel they have poor spelling.”

Another habit that is present in traditional and online dating was the tendency to present ourselves as - just slightly - more interesting and interested than we actually are at the start of a relationship.

Online dating has also allowed an avenue for people young and old to reach out and find connections, said Hazelwood.

“One of the things I found pleasing was that online dating stretched across all age groups,” she said. “In our research, one of the participants was a 76-year-old female. She and her partner, who was the same age, met online and were getting married.”

Hazelwood’s research found that traditional daters and online daters had roughly the same relationship success rate - despite many people believing that online dating was not as likely to be as successful as traditional dating.

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