How do you succeed on Tinder? An exploratory study about young women’s self-presentation and strategies online
Abstract: Background: As the expanding digital tools of communications provide new ways for people to interact online, new ways of initiating relationships have emerged from this technological development. From traditional online dating sites to today’s proximity dating applications that enable users to easily interact with other users nearby with the help of geolocation technology. This fast-paced movement allows dating applications to enter the market to assist people with the search for their soulmate. These dating applications such as Tinder allows people to manage their self-presentation as desired to pursue their goals online. Problem: Previous literature about self-presentation and behaviour online has mainly focused on Facebook as the context. Because of its popularity among emerging adults today, this thesis has chosen to study Tinder as a context. Additionally, previous literature about Tinder has mainly focused on the motives behind using the app. However, the examination of self-presentation focusing solely on young women and how Tinder is utilized to reach one’s goal is not thoroughly researched. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to increase the knowledge of how young heterosexual women in Sweden use self-presentation and utilize digital social platforms to reach their goal. This research examines the context of the online dating application Tinder to study experiences and get insights into how the users utilize the app and different strategies to succeed. To fulfil the purpose of this research, the research team is going to thoroughly analyse the participants’ experiences and opinions to further understand how self-presentation and strategies are implemented in a context as Tinder. Method: This thesis has followed a qualitative approach where an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) strategy is used. Ten semi-structured interviews have been conducted on young heterosexual women between 18-25 in Sweden utilizing the online dating application Tinder. Results: The findings suggest that the participants use different strategies and have a varying perception of Tinder depending on how they want other users to perceive them and what their goals are. The discovered strategies are how the participants select pictures, what information they disclose in their profile, and how they interact with male users on the application. The development of the digital environment has impacted how users behave online, and findings suggest that social online platforms do not facilitate the expression of the true self online as previous literature has stated.
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