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Abstract

Matchmaking mobile applications, or dating apps, have become hugely popular in recent years, with millions worldwide swiping through potential romantic partners. The literature on technologically mediated dating has explored how people manage impressions but has rarely taken an autoethnographic perspective: How does the author, both a researcher of dating apps and a user herself, experience self-presentation? In this paper, I first introduce a theoretical focus on impression management on dating apps. Next, I explain the choice of autoethnography as a method. Drawing from various source materials like personal journaling and chats with matches, I present two autoethnographic pieces: one focusing on my self-presentation as a dating app researcher, and the other on my own dating app use. I follow these by analyzing my motivations and impression construction in the dating app environment, keeping in mind theoretical insights. I conclude with a discussion into the challenges of an autoethnographic approach to impression management.

Keywords

Autoethnography, Dating Apps, Impression Management

Author Bio(s)

Janelle Ward is Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Her research and consultancy expertise is in digital communication. She currently researches how people create and manage impressions on digital media, examining mobile dating apps.

Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Janelle Ward, Department of Media and Communication, Erasmus University Rotterdam, P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Phone: +31 6 3478 5175; Email: janelle.ward@gmail.com

Publication Date

11-21-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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