Title

Swipe, Right? Young People and Online Dating in the Digital Age

Department

Social Work

Date of Paper/Work

2016

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper

Advisors

Jessica Toft

Abstract

As many as 1 in 10 Americans utilize an online dating service. A sizable percentage of these users are young adults between the ages of 18 and 24, Because this social phenomenon is relatively new, little research has been conducted to examine the impact that online dating has on youth culture. The purpose of this study is to explore young people's expectations and realities of online dating and mobile applications, whether they deem their experiences as positive or negative, to examine young people's experiences of deception and discrimination by others and to gauge the extent that their relational styles are shaped by their usage. To answer these questions, the researcher created an anonymous online survey based in attachment theory, social constructionism, and consumer culture theory. The survey was completed by 60 young adult participants recruited via social media. The findings of this survey indicate that: young adults do use online dating and they do so for may reasons; many believe they are discriminated against based on their appearance; many believe they have been lied to but few perceive themselves as lying; and overall, most perceive online dating as positive and a normal thing to do. Future research should be qualitative in nature to more thoroughly examine young people's experiences with online dating.

Keywords

young adults, online dating, consumer culture, attachment, social constructionism

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.