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So don't look so sheepish if you've ever added your friend's aunt's step-brother's son or a random bartender or significant other of a friend you haven't spoken to since high school to one of your online networks—you aren't alone!
Additionally, 42% of Americans know someone who has used an online dating site or app, an increase of 11% from 2005, and 29% of Americans know someone who has met their partner through this medium, compared with 15% who made this claim in 2005.
This data represents a significant shift in the perception of online dating, suggesting that the stigma associated with the practice is dropping: While some of us may Friend more discriminately than others, we live in a time where it's common to build online networks that include secondary and tertiary connections.
We highlight knowledge, skills, and tendencies that help establish our connection to particular social groups—and hopefully the person in front of us well.
Sociologist Erving Goffman believed that this sort of editing of the self to shape the impression we make on others sits at the core of social interaction.
This deception can be elaborate, and may involve the use of fake photos, fake biographies, and sometimes fictitious supporting networks as well.