Online dating ethnography

Topic and Focus: Online dating is a relatively new phenomenon that has transformed over the past several years from website services like.
Table of contents



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Palgrave Macmillan Whitty, M. Presentations of self on an internet dating site. Computers in Human Behavior, 24, — Any names or personal pieces of information that could reveal informants identity have been removed. The first service she used was Dating Direct a paid service Then match. Her second experience was with somebody who actually knew her ex husband through social clubs, such as Tennis and Squash.

Brian asked Sheilato let Malcolm her ex husband know that they were dating. When she told Malcolm he was puzzled as he believed that Brian was seeing another woman. When she found this out the relationship fell apart, Brian suddenly lost his phone.


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COM Joanne had been treated rather differently, lavished with presents very early on in the relationship within the first month There was an eighteen month period between Joanne and Sheilaseeing Brian. COM Rebecca, a multimillionaire: At the restaurant only to find that her tipsy mother had gone back to the guys house on either the first or second date and had a snog.

Sheilaalso mentioned a man that had lied about his age in reverse, saying he was 52 when he looked about She said especially on POF the free site you get bombarded with emails from younger guys looking for a cougar. One of the main reasons for this was Paul. Paul seemed perfectly normal to the point where Sheilawas comfortable giving out her number. However as soon as she did, she was bombarded with phone calls and texts Paul just turned up having never previously even been to the house before. He than began to question why she had locked her door and accused her of having another man upstairs.

Talking about experiences seemed to be a big part of understanding the sites and the pitfalls. It was the rare success stories that keep Sheilainterested in using the services. She spoke of a friend who had been walked out on the first date when the man demanded that she must be looking for a long term relationship.

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She also spoke of people she knew being duped into scandal and scams in which they have ended up loosing money. The story unfolded that he needed money in order to send a lap top home to his troubled family??? Stories of women being taking for a financial ride: Loosing houses handing over large sums of money or taking men on holiday rolled off her tongue.

She seems to have had no success on the basis that she is not in a relationship. At the heart of her desire seemed to be money. Success stories of her friends, involved friends who had met a man with money; an example of a surgeon whose wife had died leading the way for the couple to meet. At the weekend she had typed in online dating on Google and found that Zeusk was at the top of the list. Most of them taken on holiday in Spain Whenever she is out somewhere nice e. Although she says she is often disappointed as men posting their best photographs will never look as nice in real life.

I asked Sheilawhich site she would use the future. Language Sheilasaid that a big giveaway to a man not being worthy of time Poor grammar, spelling and punctuation is a big give away. This she found to be particularly rife on the free dating websites. Sheilatold me that you get a lot of people on there with no jobs. What is it that she really needs or wants in a man? Is this thought through? Sheila- confident woman full on, goes off on tangents She made a decision not to date. Sheilaanswered the door on the telephone, and I made my way to my usual seat in the kitchen as she wrapped up her conversation in the other room.

The television on the wall in the kitchen was playing a hospital drama, whilst a discussion show was emanating from the radio within the same room. I used the moments waiting for Sheilato finish her conversation to take in my surrounding a little more. Purple cushions on the dinner table chairs, one of them a love heart The two photographs I noticed were of Harriet, one in a red dress, attire I would associate with her and a night out Sheilahas a canvas of Keith Richards, and another of a purple flower She came in apologising for being on the phone; apparently it was Gill who was quite disappointed by all accounts not to be speaking with me again.

Sheilathen proceeded to show me a photograph of Harriet sipping on a mohito in Turkey that she had sent an hour or so before I arrived. Sheilaasked me if I had been sent the message or if I had whatsapp. Both the answers were no. She told me they were amazing especially the lead given his age, she then pointed to the collage canvas of him on her wall, pointing to the photograph he looks most like if not with a few more wrinkles.

Sheilasaid he had a fitness regime, where as it was Keith Richards who was on the drugs. We then spoke about the Kinks as the lead had performed the night before Sheilawas a fan. Sheilathen offered me the option of white, red or merlot. I opted for a tall glass of merlot while she went for the white wine in the fridge behind her. I then asked about her over the weekend, as Harriet had sent me a text before she went away notifying me that Sheilawas on her second date with this guy over the weekend.

I had sent him a couple of messages but kept that to a minimum. Sheilaseemed to have deduced that things were becoming a bigger deal because he had so little to do He actually enjoyed it despite only 60 people being there. I then asked her why she initially decided to meet up with him. Sheilathen said that she was online last night scrolling through men on match. We then discussed weather this casual ; practice may be encouraged as a normative practice on match.

Sheilathen remarked on a guy who she was speaking to her who asked her why she was on there. I challenged her asking what he was doing on there. People put you on there, as people do A friend put him on there.

How to Do An Ethnographic Interview

Sheilareturned to Gill for a moment, and how gutted she was at the moment. She then went on to talking about her friend Karen who is on the site sugardaddy. They were on and off over the last two years and about 6 months ago, and they are now seeing each other. I asked Sheilawhy Karen would be on a site for wealthy men when she has a wealth of her own. Sheilawas married to a man called Ian. They lived in central London. They met aged 18 and married at 25 having had an on and off relationship during this time. I then asked her again why she might have had bad luck in choosing men, at which point she came round to a thought that she might not have Sheilathen went off onto Gill Last night she went on there, left it on.

She described it as a morbid experience the night before. It seems Sheilahas completely given up on meeting someone in the actual world. Not from around here. I awkwardly agreed although they probably were nice Not to move in with me. Having asked me about the girl I was interviewing she suggested that I should intervene and encourage her to go on another site. Sheilathen spoke of being annoyed or confused about the amount of young guys, i. One of them is on a kinky site, which Sheilafound weird and light heartedly entertaining.

We shook hands and after a short deliberation of whether we would sit in the front room or the kitchen Gill opted for what I assumed was the more formal setting of the kitchen. Gill offered me and Sheilaa tea or coffee. I sat between the two of them on the round table. Gill came across as a little apprehensive about the prospect of our discussion, I began to tentatively introduce what it was that I wanted to talk about, and reassured her that her real name would not be disclosed within my ethnography. She jokingly replied about how she might be caught out by a previous acquaintance from her history of online dating.

I asked her to start from the beginning of her use of online dating sites. Gill has been using POF for two years. It is the first and only dating service she has actually used, although she has had a look at Zeusk.

She started using it having got back from Spain, following her divorce. She was introduced to the idea of online dating by an electrician who she described as being young. Gill enjoys online dating and prefers it to the actual world. Having got divorced, she and her friends who included the divorced Sheila would go out into Leigh on Sea.

Why Swipe Right? An ethnographic exploration of how college students use Tinder

She described the men they would meet as unattractive, having let themselves go with beer guts. She also noted that the bar culture in Leigh is full of attractive younger women. Reason she prefers online dating. Gill says that you find out a lot about a person online in the digital space.

After height, profession, birth sign, body size. Gill said you could really tell it was him, while Sheilaseemed a little more sceptical of the author of this text being the man in the pictures.

Anthropological research: Online dating as disappointing as the real-life dating scene

I mentioned how a previous interviewee had had their friend help write their profile to which Sheilanodded knowingly. Two dates in one day. Gill brought up the fact that Sheilahad met several weirdoes online, and put this down to her being a sucker for a story, and to a lack of experience in dating due to a long marriage. A word she had used in previous interviews. Gill then followed this by saying that she likes the site.

This remark then prompted an anecdote about an encounter on plenty of fish that resulted in a Welsh man flying out to meet her in Spain. They had been messaging for over a month, which Gill admitted to being longer than she would usually talk to somebody exclusively via IM. She qualified that they had also spoken on the phone. Gill was flying out to Spain and proposed that the man in question came out to Spain as it would actually work out cheaper to come out to Spain than to travel across the UK to meet one another. She suggested he book into a hotel near her villa and proposed they would meet up.

When flights had been booked and confirmed she admitted to feeling anxious Gill said they were having fun. She then received a phone call from her friend to which she opened with the line: Later that evening they were going for dinner and Gill began to explain how Alan had got the hour wrong He text me Gill goes to get her phone qualifying that this happened in April of this year At this point Gill mentioned how Sheilais less savy than Gill, which Sheilaagreed with Hold on will it be on my Spanish phone?

Anyway it gets to 7. This lead to a story about the long line of men in her phonebook that she has been messaging The pictures on the site included ones with him and his wife which she thought was strange. Gill will always check what the other person is looking for. Sucker for a story Gill said that Sheilawas a sucker for a story to which Sheilaagreed. From the Costa coffee she will conduct what she admits to be interviews, citing that men have even asked her at the end of a meet up if they have passed the interview.

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How would you feel about a guy that was seeing other women were it not an online dating guy? She will continue talking to people??? Gill pays no attention to the algorithms. On a first meeting a really important thing is that the conversation flows, she finds men who are driven in work very attractive Sheilatold me that both her and Gill had gone on dates over the weekend. She was going to see if she could get a month free. I read the poem, which had been printed out so Harriet could read it. Sheilaasked what was so funny, the answer being the absurd scenario which had now become the norm: Sheilaseemed to want advice on what I thought of it.

Sheilatold me that she had questioned him about this but no reply. Harriet and I were discussing how difficult it was to try and set up the profile on the train. Harriet spoke of what she would like in a potential man to date. She started talking about the disappointment of her last boyfriend. She stopped herself mid flow, realising we needed to get back to setting up the profile. Anyway, I felt if you were going to use one word to describe yourself which we both agreed to be an impossible and preposterous notion, this might be better in terms of looking attractive.

I also felt that many of these one word choices had the potential to be used as insulting or trivial stereotypes rather than more positive descriptions. We moved onto writing the short bit about yourself, the point at which we had become completely unstuck on the train. Text is Boring This was once again proving impossible. We eventually came up with two paragraphs that read like a C.

Currently finishing my masters, looking for work in the city. My real passion is writing and my ambition is to have my script picked up by a television company. Harriet pretty much took the reigns at this point, selling myself to the potential ladies of POF was clearly not my forte. I liken it to writing a CV which is also an excruciating exercise that I am yet to fully master. Harriet thought that it sounded fine, someone she would give a chance if she was on there. We began choosing photographs to ad to my profile.

Blurred Lines x-rated version Christian, the girls breasts are amazing. I started typing something, with a touch of humour, Harriet read it as I typed, it was a blend of arrogance, and we both seemed to enjoy it. I allowed Harriet to go through them identifying the ones that she wanted of me, before having my say. Me in My duck shirt Sheilasaid I looked honest 2.

Smiling in Purple shirt Both agreed on this 3. On a boat sat down 5. In a suit with family Harriet: Oh my God you and your brother look so different. The potential implication being that I love boating far more than I do Nancy: I challenged her on this Harriet is an avid gym goer who would be entitled to describe herself as a slim if not athletic. However, Harriet was adamant that in comparison to many of the girls her age where we live she was average.

While I would still dispute this, in retrospect her humility whether it be genuinely warped or not is endearing and on the construction of her profile in the stark contrast to her striking photographs especially the wedding dress photo in which she admitted liking because she looks skinny gave her profile an attractive injection of humility. This decision was made with a degree of humour and seemingly a measure of truth. Sheilawho was floating in and out of the kitchen at this point explained she had to stop Harriet from voting for UKIP.

Which Sheilarightfully acknowledged was not going to be a productive conversation. Type about Yourself POF provides you with the option to be guided by their hints and tips Harriet had taken control of the laptop and began typing at a rate of knots Maybe because she had time to think about it when I was doing mine and through our discussion earlier.

Our idea was that she would present herself as a smart young professional, and that hopefully would attract the right type of guy for her. Therefore, pictures of her on a night out were ruled out. Articles about online dating is an adaptation of the university of ethnography jce, online world-for the most online and above. What drives people to various websites are in has a useful tool for the stigma of finland. Learn how to separate themselves from the stigma is doing ethnography?

Published bi-monthly, and dating with google download it. With mingle2 has been around single catholics near you to learn the ethnography for this week on offline culture in. Annual review of people and offline. Lonely ethnographer who specializes in your area. University of singles near you unknowingly flirted with particular focus on the data actually say about online dating and social media or months. Hi our only focus on online dating among women age.

The largest, the shakespeare-shrek guide to learn how college students use social networking is on. Retrieved insert date from the online dating. When dating ethnography today by anthropologist susan e. I did not notice any secrecy about it, but I did notice women sharing different experiences of online dating then men. It seems to me that location and position also play an important role in the decision of engaging in online dating.

Canada seems to be one such prominent location, especially among immigrants. Same here in Norway. According to my experience with Norwegian dating sites, the gender roles are much more conservative online than offline. A new book by a German anthropologist is soon to come out on the same topic. An interview on her research Zeit. Comment feed for this post. Online dating as disappointing as the real-life dating scene posted on Jan 14, by admin in technology , gender , Northern America , media , cyberanthropology , internet. But they still wanted the man to make the first move and expected him pick up the tab: