Give me cash, I will give you love

On: September 9, 2012
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About Sasha Wood
I, Sasha Wood am a fresh first year New Media and Digital Culture master student at the University of Amsterdam. Before studying the master program I obtained a bachelor's degree in Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam, and a bachelor's degree in Human Resource Management at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. During my last year of Communication Science I got really interested in the effects of new media, and particularly in identities and communities online. For my graduation thesis I got the chance to enroll in the course social network sites, video games and virtual worlds. Which allowed me to do a literature study about what factors determine how people present themselves on online dating sites. During the master program I hope to learn more about interactivity & new media, and mapping politics.

   

Today online dating isn’t such a big deal anymore; men and women from al ages and different backgrounds use the Internet weekly in the hope to form and maintain a romantic relationship. The reason why the Internet gained popularity in the field of dating is because of the high amount of anonymity. Internet is known for its lack of boundaries and control, online you can be who ever you want to be. The online dating world can be independently and constantly accessed twenty-four hours a day. This aspect makes it less difficult meeting a potential romantic partner than in real life dating (Valkenburg and Peter, 2007). Although finding a potential romantic partner online seems a lot easier than in real life, there are still some points to think about before you subscribe yourself on a dating sites. Where people disclose themselves open in real life, online people are more eager to tell lies. For instance putting favorable assets forward, which don’t correspond with the reality. Online there is a big chance you’re dating someone who isn’t recognizable in real life. The most common lies online are about bodyweight en height (Hancock, Toma and Ellison, 2007).

During my bachelor thesis, which was a literature study about online dating, it became clearer that the people subscribed on online dating sites became different personalities then who they are in real life. People want to believe who they want to be, instead of being who the really are (Guadagno, Okdie, and Kruse, 2011). Yesterday when I was listening to the radio (3FM), it became clear that regardless the lies and the false personalities exposed online, people are still seeking in large numbers for love online. In the Coen and Sander radio show they interviewed Van der Wildt, the founder of the new Dutch dating site Date4cash. On the new dating site date4cash you can offer money for a first date with a man or woman of choice. If we may believe Van der Wildt, paying for your date is the solution for the problems many regular dating sites are facing. The founder explains that pretty women are getting to many private messages, which causes that many men don’t receive anything back. This can be really irritating for both parties.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3HgI5D2cDA

But how does this concept work in practice and does it really works the way it has to? Cash4date works as follows, you register, you place a bid on the persons you’re interested in and when your offer is accepted you pay the amount to date4cash, which may reach to a maximum of thousand euros. Van der Wildt expects that a date will yield between an average of 50 till 100 euro’s, but there are already outliers from 250 euros a date. During your first date you make a picture of the two of you, which you send as a substantiation to the website. You’re date will then receive the money on his or her bank account. On this hand, Van der Wildt explains your paying for the time from your date. Hearing about this concept it sounds like a cheap escort office in first place, but the founder rather thinks of it different. By reducing the exposure of nudity of the website he is convinced that he is offering a rather successful concept as compared to the classical online dating sites.

The idea from Van der Wildt dating site isn’t new; at the United States they are already commonly familiar with this concept. One well-known site is Whats your price. On the website you can choose whether you want to meet generous people or attractive people. The philosophy of date4cash can be compared with whatsyourprice. Both websites see it as a new and innovative way of dating. When a man is really attracted to a woman he is willing to pay her to go out on a date. Both websites think that men are more serious when they are willing to pay and not just searching for a hook up. However what both sites may think and say it rather looks like a legal place to get paid sex in my point of view.

Literature

Guadagno, R.E., Okdie, B.M. & Kruse, S.A. (2011) Dating deception: Gender, online dating, and exaggerated self-presentation. Computers in Human Behavior, 1-6. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2011.11.010

Hancock, J.T., Toma, C. & Ellison, N. (2007). The truth about lying in online dating profiles. CHI 2007 proceedings. Online Representation of Self. doi.10.1145/1240624.1240697

Valkenburg, P.M. & Peter, J. (2007). Who visits online dating sites? Exploring some characteristics of online daters. Cyberpsychology and Behavior 10(6). doi: 10.1089/cpb.2007.9941

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