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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Internet altering human emotions

The web is changing the very nature of intimacy, emotion and dating, according to a new study.

Sydney: An audit of online dating sites as part of the study has found that they are informal and are fast emerging as an effective way of developing one's "social and intimate circle".

The study, which audited 60 sites and conducted in-depth interviews with users, also found that the online communication had more intensity and immediacy, and, in some ways, was almost addictive in nature.

The study, by University of Melbourne researchers Millsom Henry-Waring and Jo Barraket, has been published in the International Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society.

According to the study, an important feature of online communication was the drafting of one's personal profile - perceived as one's own "shop window".

"Many of our participants talked about the fact that people were judged on the basis of how they looked, but also how their photos and profiles 'talked' online," the authors wrote.

"We have suggested that a type of 'hyper-communication' occurs in the types of communication and also in the speed and intensity of the contact. As found in other studies, this appears to be facilitated by the informal and dis-inhibitive nature of the medium."

Indo-Asian News Service

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