Moreover, Internet dating can be viewed as a potential advancement of the use of new technologies in the postmodern world.
One such developing interest to researchers is the way humans create and re-create their personal identities.
An individual's identity can be defined as the "cognitive and affective understanding of who and what we are" (Schouten, 1991, p413).
Sociological issues that potentially impact Internet dating include social capital and social support. A conclusion will be offered that details implications for further research.
Keywords Identity; Internet Dating; Social Capital; Social Support; Symbolic Interactionist Perspective From a historical perspective, "Internet dating" can be tracked back to the mid-1960s when early computers were used to match individuals by comparing data derived from questionnaires.
The technology of using a computer to bring humans together was promoted as "scientific" and the use of the computer for this purpose rapidly gained popularity in the United States and Germany (Hardey, 2002, p571).
The rapid expansion of single person households, especially among professional classes who are most likely to have Internet access in their homes, provides a context for this phenomenon.
Internet dating itself can be characterized by a "seamless movement between reading descriptions, writing responses, and exchanging messages.
Compared to the effort, awkwardness, risks, and physical embarrassments often associated with 'real world' dating, the Internet can provide some advantages" (Hardey, 2002, p572).
Some of these behavioral contexts include, • Cosmetic surgery (Schouten, 1991), • Skydiving (Celsi, Rose, & Leigh, 1993), • River rafting (Arnould & Price, 1993), • Participation in fantasy-based activities (Kozinets, 2002), and • Natural health food (Thompson & Troester, 2002) consumption communities (cited in Yurchisin, Watchravesringkan, & Mc Cable, 2005, p736).