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Accepted Paper:

Temporality in digital dating: a case study of Tinder dating app  
Maria Stoicescu (University of Bucharest)

Paper short abstract:

This paper seeks to explore the dominant temporal orientations for digital dating on Tinder. The paper discusses the changing dating expectations and norms of intimacy for Tinder users. The focus of the paper is on the behavioral temporal patterns that result from such digital romantic interactions.

Paper long abstract:

Dating apps are increasingly used for meeting new potential partners and have become a battlefield for identifying compatible others. Tinder, one most used dating apps of the moment, answers a wide variety of user goals. From long-term connections to casual encounters, entertainment, validation, or socialization, users develop and manifest interaction objectives that are shaped by the capabilities of the app. Drawn by a soulmate seeking or erotic storyline, users adhere to the dating directives presented by the platform. They evaluate, select, chat, and meet other users to attain their dating goals. The Tinder interaction cycle is usually repetitive, quantitative, and presents a distinct temporality. By using the concept of time work (Flaherty, 2003), I analyze users’ dominant temporal orientations and configurations for digital dating on Tinder. The findings show that Tinder is a digital platform that incentivizes a specific temporal structure for intimate relationships. The Tinder-encouraged temporal structure is focused on the initial stages of the relationship, especially on partner seeking and fine-tuning the first date stages. For business reasons and through technological affordances, Tinder users are indirectly stimulated to persist in exploration and search. As a result, users experience short-term relationships and hookups more frequently. These interaction patterns result in the normalization of this type of engagement, thus changing the expectations and norms of intimacy for Tinder users.

Panel Speak18
World anthropologies: interpreting human interactions
  Session 1 Wednesday 31 March, 2021, -