“Relationships form so quickly that you won't cherish them”: Mobile dating apps and the culture of instantaneous relationships

Tien Ee Dominic YEO, Tsz Hin Fung

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mobile dating apps with geolocative function have gained popularity for fostering social, romantic and sexual connections between proximate strangers. Focusing on the experience of social time, this paper sheds light on users' experience on two popular gay mobile dating apps, namely Grindr and Jack'd. Based on in-depth interviews and focus-group discussions with 74 young gay men in Hong Kong, this paper identifies that the tempo and sequence produced by the specific affordances of apps are important to understanding users' experience. Specifically, accelerated tempo of interactions facilitated by constant connectivity, ubiquitous computing, geolocative function, and the apps' messaging system was seen to entail instantaneous and ephemeral relationships. The interface design, which foregrounds profile photos and backgrounds textual self-descriptions, structures the sequence of browsing and screening in a way that prioritizes physical appearance. This design feature was perceived to privilege users seeking casual hook-ups. These findings suggest that the temporality of browsing and exchange on apps is incongruous with the temporal norms prescribing formation of friendship and long-term romance. The violation of these normative expectations affects the perceived quality and satisfaction of app use, resulting in users' frustrations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th 2016 International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2016
EditorsAnatoliy Gruzd, Jenna Jacobson, Evelyn Ruppert, Philip Mai, Dhiraj Murthy
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Print)9781450339384
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2016
Event7th International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2016 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jul 201613 Jul 2016

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Conference

Conference7th International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period11/07/1613/07/16

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications

User-Defined Keywords

  • Gay
  • Grindr
  • Jack'd
  • Mobile apps
  • Online dating
  • Social media
  • Time

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '“Relationships form so quickly that you won't cherish them”: Mobile dating apps and the culture of instantaneous relationships'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this