Forming connections in the digital era: Tinder, a new tool in young Australian intimate life

Lyndsay Newett, Brendan Churchill, Brady Robards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tinder is a location-based smartphone application used by young adults. Advertised as a popular and unique way to forge connections, Tinder’s introduction into intimate life is indicative of increased information and communication technology (ICT) usage within this sphere. While the impact of ICT use within intimate life has been debated, little sociological research has investigated Tinder within this context. This article draws on data from a small scale exploratory study, including surveys (n = 203) and interviews (n = 10), examining the use of Tinder by young Australians (aged 18 to 30) and how use contributes to intimate outcomes. While survey results provide insight regarding engagement with Tinder and its use in intimate life, two key themes – (1) Tinder’s use as an additional tool in intimate life and (2) its perceived impact on ‘connection quality’ – demonstrate Tinder’s role in intimate outcomes. Findings support Jurgenson’s depiction of today’s societies as ones characterised by augmented reality rather than digital dualism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-361
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Sociology
Volume54
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • augmented reality
  • dating
  • digital dualism
  • digital technology
  • interpersonal relations
  • intimacy
  • relationships
  • sex
  • Tinder
  • youth culture

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