The purpose of this research is to understand how adults use online dating technologies to find connection. More specifically, I look at the stories people tell about their experiences and examine how people negotiate digital communication to construct a desirable self and search for potential partners. This study considers how people in various communities (including monogamous, non-monogamous, heterosexual, LGBTQ, and kinky) use mainstream and specialized dating technologies to represent a sense of self and communicate with potential partners.
If you have done any online dating, I am interested in hearing from you.
Ways to Participate
The short anonymous online survey asks questions about your online dating experience. There are 11 multiple choice questions, some with open-ended options if you would like to elaborate. The survey should take between 10-15 minutes to complete. Follow this link to the survey.
For this aspect of the research, I analyze screenshots of dating profiles, focusing on the written bio, photos, and preset labels to understand how people construct a sense of self identity and ask what draws them to others. Usernames and photos will be altered to protect your identity.
Interviews are 30-minutes long and aim to understand your online dating story. I utilize open-ended questions that look to understand how language, photos, and technology work together to facilitate connection. Your identity will be protected through a username and interviews will be conducted in person, on the phone, or online through video chat.
Digital Dating UX
A 30-minute user-experience (UX) will be recorded to capture a typical session of online dating activities. The recording will capture the moves you make on the phone or computer while navigating through the site, swiping, liking, passing, clicking, and/or messaging, while talking through the process. This is called a ‘think-aloud protocol” where you say whatever comes to mind while navigating. Your face is not recorded; only your voice and screen.