In with expectations and out with disappointment: Gay-tailored social media and the redefinition of intimacy

Yin ZHANG, John Nguyet ERNI

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

This chapter presents a broader definition of intimacy that encompasses emotional or sexual closeness with another person, as this definition allows for more flexibility in interpreting the relationships formed on gay-tailored social media. It suggests that the relationship between social media technologies and intimacy in the formation and fading-out processes experienced by gay individuals. Communication pattern also hints at a very common and recursive struggle experienced by gay individuals: users enter (virtual networks) with expectations and exit with disappointment. Gay-tailored social media are imperfect, and emotional fluctuation always accompanies usage, but such platforms provide the most direct way of getting involved in the circle. The low cost of using social media has enabled massive adoption among the gay population. Furthermore, location proximity and immediate interaction have led the online interaction to parallel offline, non-virtual life. These social media platforms place a heavy emphasis on the construction of profiles and the removal of constraints when seeking sexual contact.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMediated Intimacies
Subtitle of host publicationConnectivities, Relationalities and Proximities
EditorsRikke Andreassen, Michael Nebeling Petersen, Katherine Harrison, Tobias Raun
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Pages143–155
Number of pages13
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9781315208589
ISBN (Print)9781138631861, 9781138631878
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in European Communication Research and Education

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