Impression management; your image on social media; online dating – everywhere you go in your internet life, you’re projecting an image of yourself. Today at the kitchen table, we’re speaking with researcher, writer and communications consultant Janelle Ward about what is going on when it comes to these online selves we’ve created and what impact this has on how our society functions.
I spoke about “Making an Impression on Tinder,” with a look at my research and how we can use dating apps to confront our own stereotypes and prejudices. The talk is available on video here (the event was in Dutch, but my talk is in English). My presentation starts at 1:28:00.
photo credit: Urville Djasim
Just published: “A Sign on the Times,” an e-publication which is a follow-up to the 2015 Sign of the Times: Social Media of the Middle Ages exhibition at the Zeeuws Museum in Middelburg, the Netherlands.
The e-publication presents articles written by experts from different visual disciplines. Each article discusses images that are emblematic of our time.
My contribution can be read here.
Information, Communication & Society just published my article What are you doing on Tinder? Impression management on a matchmaking mobile app. A PDF version can be downloaded here. The abstract:
Mobile dating applications such as Tinder have exploded in popularity in recent years. On Tinder, impression management begins with a motivation to download the app, the choice of one’s profile photos and an assessment of the expectations of potential Tinder matches. These processes occur in a technologically mediated environment of reduced cues and increased control, local proximity and a reduced filtering process. My focus in this paper is this first stage of impression management, which consists of both impression motivation and impression construction. Specifically, what are the pre-match impression management practices of Tinder users? I present the results of interviews with Tinder users in the Netherlands. Participants were recruited via a Tinder profile that advertised the study using the University emblem and a brief description. Interview questions focused on user understandings of self-presentation practices and profile construction. The interviews also examined how users evaluated their potential matches. Results show users’ motivations for using Tinder range from entertainment to ego-boost to relationship seeking, and these motivations sometimes change over time. Profile photos are selected in an attempt to present an ideal yet authentic self, and chosen as an illustration of not only one’s desirability but also of other indicators such as education level. Tinder users ‘swipe’ not only in search of people they like, but also for clues as to how to present themselves in order to attract others like them. This research offers insight into user experiences and perceptions within the still under-researched area of inquiry.
Human IT just published my article Swiping, Matching, Chatting: Self-Presentation and Self-Disclosure on Mobile Dating Apps. The full article can be accessed as a PDF and the abstract is below:
People have long used rituals of self-presentation and self-disclosure when looking for a romantic connection, whether they seek a passionate love affair, a spouse or a casual encounter. Mobile dating applications like Tinder have exploded in popularity in recent years. On Tinder, impression management begins with choosing one’s profile photos and viewing and assessing the profiles of potential Tinder matches. Self-disclosing to matches begins in a technologically mediated environment. This article provides an overview of literature that has focused on self-presentation and self-disclosure on dating websites and raises questions about whether and how this literature can be applied to new digital matching mobile apps like Tinder. It highlights two current research projects on Tinder users recently conducted in the Netherlands.
It was a successful event at the Erasmus Pavilion on Monday! Despite the rain there was a great turnout for the lecture, and the participants in the “36 Questions” dating event really seemed to enjoy themselves. For those of you interested, here’s the back story on the 36 Questions for Intimacy:
“What was needed was a method to create closeness in the laboratory with strangers, so people could be randomly assigned to various conditions and other variables could be controlled. As such, the method has been used in hundreds of studies and the field has been able to learn a great deal.”
The questions originally stem from a 1997 study by Aron et al. titled “The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness: A Procedure and Some Preliminary Findings.”