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The players of micro-dating: Individual and gender differences in goal orientations toward micro-dating apps

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Dating apps on smartphones have brought speed dating on the Internet to a new level. This exploratory investigation sought to determine what kinds of people use these apps, what their motivations are, and what precautions they take before meeting someone. One hundred and seventy-three non-users and 57 current users of dating apps were surveyed. The data suggest that the strongest motive for using dating apps is not for dating or sex, but for entertainment. On the other hand, the more frequent users of these apps are people whose personalities are predisposed towards varied sexual partners. These different motives may represent a disconnect between those who wish to kill time and those who are seeking sexual partners.
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... All these studies found significant association(s) with mobile dating. Higher scores on sociosexual orientation predicted current MDA use (Botnen et al., 2018;Carpenter & McEwan, 2016;Shapiro et al., 2017;Sumter & Vandenbosch, 2019) as well as messaging someone met on Tinder, while being in a committed relationship (Weiser et al., 2018). Moreover, higher levels of sociosexuality predicted using MDAs for relational goals, including casual sex (Carpenter & McEwan, 2016;Chan, 2019;Sevi & Doğruyol, 2020;Sumter & Vandenbosch, 2019) and love (Sevi & Doğruyol, 2020), and for entertainment goals (i.e., thrill of excitement; Sumter & Vandenbosch, 2019). ...
... Higher scores on sociosexual orientation predicted current MDA use (Botnen et al., 2018;Carpenter & McEwan, 2016;Shapiro et al., 2017;Sumter & Vandenbosch, 2019) as well as messaging someone met on Tinder, while being in a committed relationship (Weiser et al., 2018). Moreover, higher levels of sociosexuality predicted using MDAs for relational goals, including casual sex (Carpenter & McEwan, 2016;Chan, 2019;Sevi & Doğruyol, 2020;Sumter & Vandenbosch, 2019) and love (Sevi & Doğruyol, 2020), and for entertainment goals (i.e., thrill of excitement; Sumter & Vandenbosch, 2019). ...
... All studies found significant associations with mobile dating. Being less diligent (e.g., lower self-control) predicted MDA use (e.g., daily frequency; number of MDAs used; Beymer et al., 2016), using MDAs for relational goals (i.e., casual sex, love; Carpenter & McEwan, 2016;Chan, 2017b;Sumter & Vandenbosch, 2019;Timmermans & De Caluwé, 2017a, 2017b and for entertainment goals (e.g., fun, the thrill of excitement, when traveling; Carpenter & McEwan, 2016;Sumter & Vandenbosch, 2019;Timmermans & De Caluwé, 2017a, 2017b. ...
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Mobile dating applications (MDAs) have become commonly used tools to seek out dating and sexual partners online. The current review aimed to systematically synthesize empirical findings in 72 quantitative studies on mobile dating, published in ISI-ranked journals between 2014 and 2020. This review focused on summarizing different approaches toward mobile dating, identity features of quantitative research on mobile dating, and hypothesized antecedents and outcomes of mobile dating. Our findings showed, first, that the literature diverges in how mobile dating is operationalized. Second, quantitative research on mobile dating predominantly consists of cross-sectional studies that draw on theoretical insights from multiple disciplines. Third, a variety of traits and sociodemographics were associated with MDA use. In particular, using MDAs for (1) relational goals related to being male, non-heterosexual, higher levels of sociosexuality, sensation seeking, extraversion, and holding more positive peer norms about using MDAs for relational goals; (2) intrapersonal goals related to being female and having more socially impairing traits; and (3) entertainment goals related to having higher levels of sociosexuality, sensation seeking, and antisocial traits. Outcomes significantly associated with general use of MDAs were scoring higher on sexual permissiveness and on engaging in casual (unprotected) sexual intercourse, as well as having higher risk at nonconsensual sex. MDA use was also connected with increased psychological distress and body dissatisfaction. Shortcomings of the existing research approaches and measures are discussed and six methodological and theoretical recommendations for future research are provided.
... That Tinder is so widely popular among college students (ABODO 2017) may seem surprising as this is a population who arguably has easy access to potential romantic partners offline by virtue of their close proximity to and frequent interactions with same-age unmarried peers (Kuperberg and Padgett 2016;Laumann et al. 2004). What researchers have found is that Tinder is particularly appealing to college students, not purely because it is a way to meet prospective partners, but also because Tinder provides "confidence boosting procrastination" (Woodley 2017) that they treat like a game, or a "flirting app" (Carpenter and McEwan 2016). In addition, Tinder's interface allows users to have enhanced control over their presentation of self because the information they share can be curated ahead of time and messaging can be asynchronous (Ward 2015). ...
... Tinder's game-like interface coalesces seamlessly with the blasé attitude of hookup culture. College students report their use of mobile dating apps with emotional indifference and perceive them as an easy and lazy way to dabble in hookup culture (Carpenter and McEwan 2016;Lundquist and Currington 2019;Sumter, Vandenbosch, and Ligtenberg 2017;Timmermans and De Caluwé 2017). ...
... The sexual double standards that pervade college hookup culture are very much evident in student's Tinder behaviors and practices (Hobbs et al. 2016;Timmermans and Courtois 2018). For example, studies have found that undergraduate men are more likely than women to use the app for meeting sexual partners (Carpenter and McEwan 2016;Weiser et al. 2018). In addition, consistent with traditional courtship norms in which men pursue and women gatekeep Vetrone 1998, 2000;Rose and Frieze 1993), women are less likely than men to message first after they match on Tinder (Timmermans and Courtois 2018;Weiser et al. 2018). ...
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The popularity of Mobile Dating Applications has increased in recent years, with Tinder transforming the dating landscape for college students. Drawing upon 249 peer-facilitated interviews with college-age men and women, we explore how this population uses Tinder. Informed by social-psychological theory and research on impression management and stereotyping, we show how Tinder’s marketing strategy and game-like platform appeal to college students’ desires to reduce uncertainty and risk in forming romantic and intimate connections. However, by upending existing interaction norms, the Tinder environment creates new forms of ambiguity, which, in turn, incentivizes conformity to traditional heterogender norms and encourages racist and classist swiping behavior. Our study advances the literature on inequality and intimate marketplaces by generating insight about how contemporary dating and sexual scripts are constructed, accomplished, and negotiated when new technologies disrupt established patterns of interaction.
... Users also acknowledge the ease of virtual dating as a motivator of use, both in terms of facilitating communication (Wang & Chang, 2010) and mitigating physical distance (Williams et al., 2021). Further, boosting one's self-esteem (Welch & Morgan, 2018) and curbing boredom (Carpenter & McEwan, 2016) are frequently identified motives. ...
... The results of this study offer several theoretically grounded explanations of virtual dating following the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar to pre-pandemic research (Bryant & Sheldon, 2017;Carpenter & McEwan, 2016), entertainment explained the most variance among all seven virtual dating gratifications. Also in-line with pre-pandemic findings (see Bonilla-Zorita et al., 2021), gratifications regarding connection, communication, romance, and sex emerged. ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic altered myriad aspects of social and cultural life, with impacts continuing to ripple across the globe. The present study provides empirical insight into virtual dating following the COVID-19 pandemic, exploring motives (i.e., gratifications), predictors (i.e., age; sex; sexual orientation; living situation; vaccination status), and outcomes (i.e., loneliness). Participants (N = 393) were recruited from Amazon's Mechanical Turk (MTurk) in March 2021, approximately one year after initial shelter-in-place and lockdown orders went into effect. Results revealed that demographic and situational factors were significantly related to virtual dating motives. Additionally, several virtual dating motives were significantly associated with loneliness. Implications are discussed regarding the landscape of virtual dating following the COVID-19 pandemic.
... Using U&G theory, researchers have identified multiple motives for dating app use aside from relationship seeking, including social approval and validation, casual sex, flirting, traveling, getting over an ex, belonging, peer pressure, socializing, meeting others with similar sexual orientations, excitement and entertainment, distraction, and curiosity (Sumter et al., 2017;Timmermans & De Caluwé, 2017). These motives can differ depending on age and gender and predict how frequently users engage with dating apps (Carpenter & McEwan, 2016;Sumter et al., 2017). Importantly though, most studies focus on general dating apps and may not extend to other types of platforms. ...
Article
This mixed-methods study explores dating app use within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) community. LGBTQIA+ dating app users ( N = 231) from across the U.S. were surveyed about their relationship initiation experiences. Thematic analysis was used to identify the benefits and challenges participants faced on dating apps and their motives for adopting (or avoiding) dating apps specifically for the LGBTQIA+ community (e.g., Grindr, Her, Butterfly). Participants described benefitting from dating apps, but also confronting significant challenges such as discrimination and the erasure of identity. Just over half (55.0%) of the sample reported using LGBTQIA+ dating apps, which functioned as safe spaces, reduced uncertainty about others’ identities, and were better adapted to community norms. Multiple logistic regression was also used to test predictions regarding user adoption. Findings have implications for understanding how people in historically thin dating markets are using mobile technology to expand their opportunities for relationship initiation.
... At stake there is a form of reassurance of one's value. Indeed, quantitative research on dating apps' users' motivations rank self confidence first (Carpenter and McEwan 2016;Sumter and Vandenbosch 2019;Ward 2016). My findings reflect this pattern. ...
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This article contributes to studies of implicit cultural policy in platformised societies by offering an empirical study of dating apps and the ways in which they are operating a digital enclosure of the practice of dating. Reflecting on a qualitative research project conducted in different phases from 2017 to 2021, I analyse subjective experiences of dating apps in the aim of deciphering some traits of digital culture of love’s structure of feeling. I focus on the role played by the algorithm as a libidinal object invested with merit and blame, and capable of (re)producing a libidinal economy within the app itself. This is characterised by the gamified alternation of validation and humiliation, which gives the subject the possibility to deal with these feelings in the de-personalised virtual space of the app. Engaging with the app, the subject aspires to foster a careless conduct, in which moral codes traditionally associated with personhood are lifted. I argue that the policies implicit within the logic and agency of dating apps shape the techno-utopia of post-romantic love: a risk free, painless and efficient interaction, deprived of the complications of embodied romance.
... While not examining ghosting on dating apps specifically, one study has pointed out a correlation between the rise in ghosting and the widespread adoption of dating apps (LeFebvre et al., 2019). Research on online dating behavior has shown that even though the majority of dating app users seek serious long-term relationships (Carpenter and McEwan, 2016;Hobbs et al., 2016;LeFebvre, 2018), dating apps seem to engender hostile interactions, such as rampant instances of trolling and sexist messages (Ging and Siapera, 2018;Hess and Flores, 2018;Lee, 2019;Shaw, 2016;Thompson, 2018). This hostility is quite different from the market mentality that scholars have noted of dating website users -a tendency of users to rationally maximize their romantic fortunes through a detailed set of pre-set criteria and desired questionnaire responses (Heino et al., 2010;Illouz, 2007). ...
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Research on ghosting has focused on individual user experiences, psychological dispositions, and attachment styles. We add to this scholarship by broadening the level of analysis to encompass what we call the “dating app assemblage” – entailing users, moods, and algorithms. Through in-depth interviews and the “walkthrough” method, we argue the dating app assemblages of Tinder and Bumble foster boring textual exchanges conducive to ghosting (cutting off communication without notice) and flaking (canceling dates at the last minute) by algorithmically creating unequal engagement. This makes it hard for users to find substantial relationships, but it aligns with the exigencies of data-driven capitalism, where more social relations can be sold when they often disappear.
... Existing research on Tinder has pointed out that initiating a relationship on the platform can be difficult because users have multiple motivations for using the app that might not match even though there is "a match." Some might use the app for pure entertainment rather than actually wanting to connect or build up relationships (Carpenter & McEwan, 2016), or they might be using the app as a group activity together with friends -with the phone sometimes even connected to the TV (Sobieraj & Humphreys, 2022). Also, the design of Tinder (with the swiping and matching features) resembles video games and slot machines thereby inviting users to "mechanically play" Tinder as a game, where potential relationships serve as bets, currencies, and rewards (Garda & Karhulahti, 2021). ...
... In vivo meetings of individuals who are acquainted via the Internet pose an inherent risk; additionally, dating app users hold high-risk attitudes and traits more so than non-users. More specifically, dating app users score higher on measures of openness to new experiences, extroversion, sexual permissiveness, and sexual sensation seeking (Carpenter & McEwan, 2016;Shapiro et al., 2017;Timmermans & Caluwé, 2017a). Additionally, dating app users report lower sexual disgust sensitivity and higher health/safety risk taking (Sevi, 2018), and college aged dating app users are significantly less likely to wear a condom and more likely to engage in sexual risk taking than non-users (Choi et al., 2016). ...
Article
Focus groups were conducted to examine college women’s perceptions of the risks of dating app dating, how risks are mitigated, and if risk identification and mitigation strategies differ by sexual victimization status. Over 60% of the sample reported a history of sexual victimization. The risk associated with dating app use fell into three themes: unsafe sexual situations, deception, and non-sexual interpersonal violence. Participants’ self-reported risk mitigation strategies included logistical strategies, investigative strategies, social strategies, instinctual strategies, and safety planning strategies. Sexually victimized women reported greater or comparable risk identification and risk mitigation strategies as non-victimized women, suggesting difficulties in risk responding.
Article
With the development of technology, smartphones and the various applications in them have become a part of people's lives. Individuals can get information using their smartphones, shop, and even socialize with mobile applications and search for a partner with whom they can establish romantic intimacy. The aim of this study is to take a closer look to the mobile dating application use and to investigate what kind of changes these applications cause in the romantic partner choices of individuals and to investigate the common characteristics of people who use these applications; the motivation of using these applications and the results caused by the use of mobile dating applications. The researches on the subject of the study were subjected to analysis and synthesis processes. The method used in the research is meta-analysis. Meta-analysis is a method that aims to reach a synthesis from this result by examining the researches made on a specific subject (Büyüköztürk, Çakmak, Akgün, Karadeniz, Demirel 2019: 241). The data of this study consists of research on mobile dating applications and romantic relationships. These studies were obtained by searching the keywords "mobile dating apps", "tinder", "online dating" from various databases and the results were included in the study. During the search, few studies on these practices were found in Turkey. In the study, studies conducted outside of Turkey are predominantly. This can be counted among the limitations of the study. As a result of the research, it has been seen that individuals increasingly use these applications to socialize in today's world, and with the change of technology, the culture and accordingly the ways of establishing close relationships of individuals have also changed. Key words: mobile dating, tinder, mobil applications, online dating, ockupid