Many people search for that one person to spend the rest of their lives with. People do this in a variety of ways and placing a personal ad in the local newspaper is only one such way. Men and women daily check personal ads in the hope of finding that "perfect person" or just for a friend. But what is it that they look for? Men have different criteria than women do, but each one is trying to persuade the other that they are "the one". Each personal ad is small essay trying to persuade their intended target that they are worth dating. People have to describe themselves in a short paragraph, and do so in such a way that they will get a response. Most people find it hard to express who they are in hundreds of pages. With personal ads, you as a person are compressed into a blurb. Even though both sexes are looking for the ideal mate, their criteria are different. Men consistently value youth and attractiveness, while women value success and education (Parrot, Strassberg, Phua, Goode).
[...] Men and women both want to write a personal ad that will attract the type of person that they are looking for. How much information you put about yourself in an ad is relatable to whether the people you are looking for respond. As said above most women emphasize their physical appearance if they believe that it will make more people respond. Men will do this as well if they think that it will help them get more responses. Each personal ad is a rhetorical essay because each and every one is trying to persuade someone that the writer is the right person for that responder. [...]
[...] Gender issues come into play in personal ads in that men and women have very different ideas of what they want in a partner/relationship. Men assume that they will have the power in the relationship. Some women assume the exact same thing, so a conflict of interest arises. It can be assumed that people get over these stereotypical roles and compromise, otherwise everyone would be single. The question of race also appears in personal ads. In the article Crossroads of Race and Sexuality: Date selection among men in Internet Personal by Voon Phua and Gayle Kaufman, their research indicates that, “Ethnic groups with lower socioeconomic status tend to be more willing to date those outside their ethnic group” (983). [...]
[...] The beauty of personal ads is that you can shop around and find almost exactly what you are looking for (if not actually find it completely, but reality wise, probably not). Another good thing about personal ads is that people can choose what they want others to know. A person can list their positives and minimize their negatives. Also people are less likely to embellish because there is always a chance that you might meet the person (Goode, 146). There are ways in which people might embellish a little, and they can get away with them, but obvious lies like a 5'3” person saying that they are 6'3”, is something that would be found out if you were to ever meet a respondent face-to-face. [...]
[...] Every personal ad mentions positive traits and characteristics in exchange for positives in someone else. Gender issues and power struggles will arise but these can usually be overcome by finding someone who is more compatible. Compromise might be needed at times but either way, it isn't very hard to see what people want. Personal ads are rightly titled in that they are advertisements for people who themselves are the product to be Bibliography Ervin, Elizabeth. Rhetoric of Courtship: Conversation and Cooperation in [...]
[...] Parrott mentions later that, “Other possible motives include loneliness, the desire to reach lots of people with one's introduction, or a belief that personal ads require less effort to identify compatible relational partners than face-to-face meetings require” (Parrot, 330). Loneliness would be one, if not the main, reason that people place these ads. Parrott mentions that personal ads require less effort and this is true because you can read a short paragraph on a person and get a sense of what they like, who they are, and then decide if you want to message them; while, if you were, for example in a bar, all you have to go off of is appearance. [...]
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