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.
Autoethnography, Dating Apps, Impression Management
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Recommended APA Citation
Ward, J. (2019). A Dating App Autoethnography: Presenting Myself as a Researcher and User. The Qualitative Report, 24(1), 130-144. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol24/iss1/10