Location-based real-time dating (LBRTD) apps have become an increasingly common way for people to broaden their social network and meet others for the purposes of dating, friendship, and more. This investigation focused on Tinder, presently the most widely-used LBRTD app. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty-three current and recent Tinder users to gain insight into their self-presentation strategies and impressions of others on the app. The questions concentrated around four major topic areas: use of photos, use of bio text, perception of others, and real or imagined deception. A grounded theory approach was used to frame the data. From this, four major themes were derived that characterized Tinder as a unique social space. First, Tinder users maintained an idealistic yet authentic portrayal of the self. Secondly, self-presentation was governed by gender norms, both societal and unique to the app. Thirdly, while these strategies were deliberately planned, they were often structured to appear nonchalant. Finally, concerns about "catfishing" and the authenticity of others shaped both how users presented themselves and the others they chose to interact with on the app. The study concluded by suggesting multiple prospective research directions into this intriguing and under-researched field.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dunlop, Johnathan, "App-ily Ever After - Self-Presentation and Perception of Others on the Dating App Tinder" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6185.