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.
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. 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. Nevertheless, this sociability, or the amiable ambiance among gay men on the apps, seems to be counterbalanced by one's reduced obligation to the other, which is instigated by dating apps' blocking capacity Davis et al.
Moreover, as shown in Yeo and Fung's study based in Hong Kong, users who seek more durable relationships can be frustrated by the incongruence between the accelerated tempo of browsing and exchange on apps and the normative tempo prescribing formation of friendships and romantic relationships. Notably, gay dating app studies have focused on the remediation of gay men's dating practices, and the reformation of social relations among gay men.
By contrast, the reconfiguration of artifacts is understudied, as reflected in a lack of comparisons of artifacts in both horizontal and longitudinal dimensions. In the horizontal dimension, many researchers simply frame dating apps as social media or consider apps as similar to dating sites, rather than contrasting dating apps to these analogues. This is problematic, given that even the design difference between two dating apps can inspire different interpretations and preferred motives of users MacKee, On other occasions, researchers elaborately delineate the design of dating apps and account for users' practices in relation to the technological context.
This is, however, a single static moment cut from the continuous evolvement of dating devices. How did dating app designers draw inspiration from prior media forms, such as SNSs and dating sites, as well as people's existing practices?
This figure serves to structure the remainder of this review. And not just swiping apps. Lawal remembers the exact moment it switched for him. Please note some posts do make me some money but I never sacrifice my integrity in exchange for a favorable review. Most people I spoke with reported getting some kind of rude or harassing messages, some more severe than others.
How are dating apps evolving along with users' practices and articulated expectations, and the subtle, gradual transformation of social relations? Questions about the reconfiguration of dating devices for gay men remain to be answered. Even for researchers who are more interested in dating practices and social relations, it is beneficial to consider the continuity of dating devices' lineage as well as the uniqueness that distinguishes dating apps from SNSs and dating sites.
Moreover, how is this coevolution locally subjected to social arrangements on the institutional level, such as governmental Internet regulations and gay men's legal position? These changes took place because of governmental regulations and market pressure. Similarly, locality also unfolds in the evolution of gay dating apps developed by Chinese companies. On the other hand, studies on the reformation of gay communities and gay social relations can be more fruitful.
As for online gay communities, it is worth thinking about how gay men experience the division between dating apps and other online gay venues, and moreover, the division among user groups clustered around different dating apps. Researchers should examine whether these apps have reinforced the subcultures marked by bodies within gay communities and whether they forged a hierarchical perception of online gay communities.
We encourage further examination of how this sociability is experienced by gay men with different backgrounds. He currently researches gay men's dating app use. Her research and consultancy expertise is in digital communication. She currently researches how people create and manage impressions on digital media, examining mobile dating apps.
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Sociology Compass Volume 12, Issue 2. Shangwei Wu Corresponding Author E-mail address: First published: There is no area of business, society or life which technology is not upending. This report looks at the fullest range, from gold mining in Russia to gay bars in London. Choose your FT trial. Currently reading:. Russian miner Polyus turns tech into gold. Artificial intelligence is guiding venture capital to start-ups. P2P currency exchanges continue cash revolution.
Education must transform to make people ready for AI. Dating apps mean LGBT people do not need physical spaces to meet one another.
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There are some matches that immediately after the ice is broken ask me [about that]. The harassment is of course the fault of the people doing the harassing. The apps show people their options, connect them, and then the rest is up to them, for better or worse. It turns out, humans are hard. Humans are hard. So dating is hard. And a common complaint about dating, app-facilitated or otherwise, is that people are just too busy to deal with it.
I think it feels historically new. There's this sense of time being scarce. So you won't have to waste time. Dating sites and apps promise to save you time. An actual date still takes pretty much the same amount of time that it always has, so where the apps cut corners is in the lead-up. A Tinder spokesperson told me in an email that while the app doesn't lessen the time it takes to build a relationship, it has "made the first step super easy—we get you in front of someone with an efficiency and ease that you couldn't before.
Efficient dating is, in many ways, at odds with effective dating.
Dating apps do not seem like an efficient way to produce relationships, at least no more so than traditional dating, and maybe less so, depending on who you ask. They are an efficient way to move through your options. When you use a resource more efficiently, you ultimately use up more of it. This is a concept that the 19th century economist William Stanley Jevons came up with to talk about coal.
The more efficiently coal could be used, the more demand there was for coal, and therefore people just used up more coal more quickly. This can happen with other resources as well—take food for example. As food has become cheaper and more convenient—more efficient to obtain—people have been eating more. On dating apps, the resource is people.
You go through them just about as efficiently as possible, as fast as your little thumb can swipe, so you use up more romantic possibilities more quickly. The idea of putting yourself out there again and again and again. This desire for efficiency plays out outside of the apps as well—if a first date is iffy, people may just not bother with a second—but the apps certainly facilitate it.
And not just swiping apps. Reading through profile after profile on OKCupid or the new Hinge amounts to the same thing. So you end up spending a little effort on a lot of people, and I think this is where the burnout comes from. We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters theatlantic. Chelsea Beck.