Exploring Self-Presentation on Online Dating Sites among Young Female Adults in Nigeria
Research suggests that a commonly accepted understanding of identity is the assumption of the multiple aspects of the self which are made salient in different contexts. This may account for the dominance in literature of adults’ multiple self-presentations in online self-presentation: real, ideal and false selves on dating sites. It is based on this, and scarcity of such study in Nigeria that this work explores the dominant type of self-presentation among online dating participants. It investigates how young adult females in Nigeria manage their online presentation of self in order to accomplish the goal of finding a romantic partner. Using semi structured interview and netnography(scroll back method); we interviewed and observed 45 single females’ online dating profiles, aged between 18-35 years. Findings show that majority of the participants presented multiple selves on their online dating site profiles. These participants used both pictures of their real self and enhanced pictures on their profiles. This aligns with findings from existing literature of the increasing presences of multiple online self-presentations by young adults. Furthermore, this substantiates findings that when individuals expect to meet a potential dating partner, there is this intrinsic tendency to engage in self enhancement in these online dating sites. Again, it has been found that older people among the participants aged between 27-35 years presented themselves as independent, working-class and successful women, while younger participants focus more on presenting themselves as beautiful or attractive. These findings confirm the assertion from research that individual control over self-presentation behaviour afforded by digital technologies allows individuals the ability to manage their online interactions in such a way as to achieve self expectations.