Data cultures of mobile relationship and hook-up applications: Emerging problem for critical social science study

The datafication of internet dating societies

Romantic and sexual encounters – including but preceding the modern phenomenon of ‘dating’ – have always been mediated via the technologies of the day. In the twentieth century alone, one might think of cinema, personal newspaper and magazine advertisements, video dating and the use of filing systems by dating agencies as dating technologies (Beauman, 2011 Phua et al., 2002 Woll, 1986). While chatrooms and bulletin panels played a task in matching and fulfilling up through the very first times of computer-mediated communication in addition to websites (Livia, 2002), towards end of the 1990s web pages like Gaydar and Match surfaced, getting internet dating towards a ‘self service’, database-driven unit (Gibbs et al., 2006, Light et al., 2008). Enterprises instance eHarmony additionally started initially to take advantage of psychologically wise algorithms by deploying profiling forms, referencing the online dating firms they sought to supplant. Facts relating to location has become essential for these types of internet dating systems, albeit during the early many years of the web, frequently by means of manually inserted postcodes (Light, 2016a Light et al., 2008).

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