Sociology review gay dating apps

Dating Apps

On the one hand, practices on dating apps are compared to those in real life or to an era when dating apps had not yet been invented. Hooking up on dating apps, which is different from cruising in a physical space, provides gay men with greater control in releasing or gathering information, such as HIV status Race, a.

On the other hand, the understanding of these technical attributes does not start from scratch, and the design and functionalities of dating apps are often compared to those of online gay venues accessed with computers, including chat rooms or dating sites. Studies therefore highlight the new affordances of dating apps.

Blackwell et al. Gay dating app users experience tension. On the other hand, they do not want to reveal too much identifying information. Users develop a set of strategies to signal their intentions and make themselves attractive. In virtual space on dating apps where identification cues are limited, users find their own way to reinsert identification information to gain social attraction. For instance, Grindr shows only distance information for nearby users and erases location details. Thus, in their profiles, some users input the name of socially defined spaces that they identify with, such as neighborhoods, city names, or institutions.

They associate themselves with these landmarks to make themselves more socially attractive Birnholtz et al. At the same time, users need to manage the possibility of exposing identifying information. There are several possible cases. First, some users are reluctant to reveal their gay identity to others. To hide their identity, users may use profile pictures that do not reveal their face Blackwell et al.


  • “Mr/Ms right now”: A cross-sexual orientations study on online dating-app.
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For instance, in the United States, older users and those who share race are less likely to disclose their faces. Compared to Americans, gay dating app users in China are less likely to show their faces or mention their goals, and more Chinese users mention seeking relationships than American users Chan, However, photos and profiles are not always reliable indicators of others' intentions.

Users' actual behaviors do not always match what they say in their profiles, and users do not always update their profiles after their intentions change Blackwell et al. In private interaction, users may provide more personal information about themselves. In private chat on dating apps, users are still trying to positively present themselves and signal their intentions while discerning others' intentions. They delineate three stages of the interactions facilitated by dating apps.

The Rise of Dating-App Fatigue - The Atlantic

First, profile functions as an initial negotiation. Given that goals can vary with time, stating a specific goal in one's profile makes it difficult to withdraw this information later, and retaining some ambiguity means leaving room to maneuver in the interaction. Users may negotiate their goals in the chat, and the timing of another user's reply, whether it is immediate or delayed, may change the flow of the chat and alter previous expectations.

In a more specific case, Licoppe et al. As they argue: Licoppe et al. This allows users to avoid referring to personal issues and biographical detail that could lead to more social and emotional involvement. First, users ask and answer questions in a way that information is made explicit and brief, such as pictures, location, and immediate goals.

Second, questions in the beginning may be raised rapidly one after another, leaving the interrogee little time to reply to each in turn.

The mediation of gay men's lives: A review on gay dating app studies

Third, information such as pictures and locations may be sent voluntarily to encourage reciprocity. Compared to open MSM, hidden MSM are more reluctant to post recognizable profile pictures and less frequently use online dating platforms for nonsexual purposes. In the transition of cruising from physical venues to dating apps, hidden MSM tend to feel an anxiety that they are at a bigger risk of exposure on dating apps than in physical cruising venues, as shown in McGuire's study based in Seoul.

In addition to detailing the remediation of gay men's online dating practices, gay dating app research also contributes to understanding the reformation of social arrangements around gay life. In the following section, we detail two themes in regard to social arrangements, namely, gay communities in the digital era and new forms of social relations.

Social arrangements, such as patterns of relations, organizing, and institutional structure, respond and adapt to available systems and devices and to communicative practices, in a process of reformation Lievrouw, In gay dating app studies, researchers have been especially concerned with the reformation of gay men's relationships to each other in gay communities. Some studies claim that dating apps actually provide alternative access to the gay community.

Given the relative homogeneity on gay SNSs, gay men are more likely to reveal their sexual identity and express their desires.


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  4. But even so, they do not totally get away from dominant gender norms. In more detailed accounts of gay men's relations to each other, there has been an interest in gay men's app use for sex. Gudelunas argues that dating apps facilitate gay men's ability to seek casual sexual encounters; Tziallas attributes the success of gay dating apps partly to their functioning as amateur porn platforms; Licoppe et al. Sex without a romantic relational commitment does not have to be a single occurrence and can be recurring.

    New meanings may be given to sex between two men who are not lovers, and new forms of social arrangements may be coming into being. Race a , p. This is a historically distinctive way of arranging erotic and intimate life, which may be approached as a specific infrastructure of intimacy that has erotic, social and communal potentials. These devices and practices are participating in the construction of a specific sphere of sociability and amiable acquaintance among men in urban centers that prioritizes sex as a principle mechanism for connection and sociability.

    It was found that dating-app users of different sexual orientations and cultural background have different motive, usage and attitude. As an overall comparison, when it comes to the inclination towards the pursuit of sex, it is unequivocal that gay respondents have the highest tendency towards such motive relative to all other groups, as evident by their most open-minded attitude towards sex as well as willingness to share their sexual experience. In making sense of such differences towards the pursuit of sex as a motivation, respondents from different groups have generally categorised the following reasons:.

    Academic essay An academic essay was finalised after the completion of data analysis. The research findings are presented in a detailed and organised way summarised the whole project and may stimulate literary discussion whilst making sense of differences in various sexual orientations as to the usage, motives and attitudes of using dating-apps in Hong Kong. A video was produced and displayed during the opening of the Capstone Fair and the exhibition as a final work. The video was presented in a style of short film portraying a triangular love story surrounding a bisexual man, a gay man and a straight girl, with some dramatic twists in the plot involving the three.

    The Rise of Dating-App Fatigue

    The cast constituted a wide range of main and side characters of different sexualities so to present the dating app experience of different users in a fair and comprehensive manner. The researchers are also getting in touch with other migrant and LGBTQ organisations and exploring possibilities in ways of disseminating the research results to them, while presentations will be one of the means in this case, to help create positive impact and to achieve the objectives of the project. A powerpoint slideshow was prepared for facilitating the presentation and giving detailed illustration of the research.

    They have also raised a lot of thought-provoking questions and given us a lot of valuable advice.

    McLeod has noticed the same waning of enthusiasm that I have. Whenever using a technology makes people unhappy, the question is always: Is Twitter terrible, or is it just a platform terrible people have taken advantage of? Are dating apps exhausting because of some fundamental problem with the apps, or just because dating is always frustrating and disappointing?

    Research topic

    Moira Weigel is a historian and author of the recent book Labor of Love, in which she chronicles how dating has always been difficult, and always been in flux. That does feel different than before. Once you meet someone in person, the app is not really involved in how that interaction goes anymore. So if there is a fundamental problem with dating apps that burns people out and keeps them from connecting, it must be found somewhere in the selection process.

    Hinge seems to have identified the problem as one of design. Without the soulless swiping, people could focus on quality instead of quantity, or so the story goes. If you do, you then move to the sort of text-messaging interface that all dating-app users are duly familiar with. People are more selective with this model. It takes a little bit more brainpower to actually show interest in someone, rather than just flicking your thumb to the right.

    McLeod believes this will make it so that only people who are serious about finding someone will use the app. Whether many people will be willing to pay for it remains to be seen. And the majority of them expressed some level of frustration with the experience, regardless of which particular products they used.

    It's possible dating app users are suffering from the oft-discussed paradox of choice.

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