Monday, 21 January 2008

Internet dating profiles: the triumph of emotional capitalism over romance

virtual-versus-600

"On the internet, the private psychological self becomes a public performance...externalized and objectified through visual means of representation and language....The internet structures the search for a partner as a market or, more exactly, formalizes the search for a partner in the form of an economic transaction: it transforms the self into a packaged product competing with others on an open-end market regulated by the law of supply and demand; it makes the encounter the outcome of a more or less stable set of preferences; it makes the process of searching constrained by the problems of efficiency; it structures encounters as market niches; it attaches a (more or less) fixed economic value to profiles (that is, persons) and makes people anxious about their values in a such a structured market and eager to improve their position in that market. Finally, it makes people highly aware of the cost benefit aspects of their search, both in terms of time, and in the sense that they want to maximize the attributes of the person found. ... The cynicism of [some] internet daters marks a radical departure from the traditional culture of romanticism and is an effect of the routinization produced by the sheer volume of encounters and by the market structure and culture which pervades Internet dating sites....I think that such cynicism is what Adorno had in mind when he suggested that in contemporary culture, consumers feel compelled to buy and use advertising products even though, and at the very moment, they see through them."

Eva Illouz, Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism. (2007)

7 comments:

Ellis Nadler said...

You have achieved blog satori. Perfect.

For 3D specs try www.npw.co.uk/onlinesales/product.php?product_id=750

ElizT said...

Oh yes. Oh well. Your illustration helps to lighten the gloom.

brenda said...

true.

and true with a perfect sappy musical accompaniment.

and painfully true again with excessive words, jargon and a pinch of chargrin.

Debra Kay said...

10 years ago I was heavily into Moo/Mud. This was pre chat. The premise of all the "worlds" was that it wasn't real, although real self crept into the interactions. (Sherry Turkle wrote THE book on it, Life on the Screen).

Even in a world that was defined as 'unreality' people got really and truly hurt sometimes. I cannot imagine what the online dating scene would be like, but understanding how people fill in the blanks with what they want to believe-it seems like open season on hearts.

Damn, that sounded almost insightful and intelligent-better cuss to cover it up quickly-fuck fuck fuck.

the therapist said...

Ah yes, one's self image, but there are truths in that, too, Prozac. I find there is, on occasion, a touch of the terrorist about you.

regards.

Forever Young said...

finding someone isn't the hardest part,wanting them afterwards and keeping them is!

Ellis Nadler said...

This page is screaming out for Prozacalisation:
http://civilcaterwaul.blogspot.com/2008/01/at-core.html