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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).Self-conception can be potentially divided into categories.The first category can be described as "now selves." Now selves "describe the self as it is presently is perceived by the individual." Another potential category is "possible selves." Possible selves are "images of the self that have not yet been realized but that are hoped for or feared (Markus & Nurius, 1986, p957, cited in Yurchisin, Watchravesringkan, & Mc Cable, 2005, p737).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).Additionally, individuals also use their behavior in online contexts to modify their identities.Markus and Nurius (1986) demonstrated that possible selves play an important role in the identity re-creation process.
Before embarking on the Internet dating field, additional research again should be considered into potential dates and their backgrounds.Moreover, Wurf and Markus (1991) predicted that the re-construction of identity "involves a multi-step process of development, validation, and redevelopment" (cited in Yurchisin, Watchravesringkan, & Mc Cable, 2005, p738).The context of Internet dating offers individuals opportunities to explore their possible selves online and offline and at the same time; Internet dating allows individuals to use a combination of online and offline behavior and feedback to re-create their identities.Research conducted by Schau and Gilly (2003) demonstrated that consumers utilize personal website postings to learn about themselves and communicate aspects of their identities to others.Moreover, "if identity is truly a social phenomenon as intimated by the symbolic interactionist perspective (Blumer, 1969; Cooley, 1902; Mead, 1934), then feedback from others would be an important part of the identity creation and re-creation process"(Yurchisin, Watchravesringkan, & Mc Cable, 2005, p736).