The Dating Game: Survey shows how and why South Africans use Tinder

Due to the popularity of dating apps such as Tinder and other similar apps, the world has seen a rise in the use of smartphones and the internet. Tinder, Bumble and OKCupid. These apps are a great way to find new romantic partners. There are over 500,000 of these apps. 6.5 million Tinder has the highest monthly downloads Tinder, which is also the most used dating app in the entire world. South Africa.

But Tinder still has a reputation for being a “hook-up” app. Tinder is used by most people to find short-term partners or casual dating. Because it focuses on photos, users are most interested in physical attractiveness. decisions about matches.

This app aims to change these perceptions and destigmatise online dating by, for instance, using its promotion hashtag #Tinderwedding to promote Tinder-matched couples who have found love. Recent Netflix documentaries The Tinder Swindler Tinder has been placed on the agenda again in more alarming and concerning ways amusing ways. The true-crime documentary highlights the potential to be duped by someone who creates a fake identity (who “catfishes” you) on Tinder.

My Tinder study was part of a larger project that explored how South Africans use social media apps in everyday life. My research it has been shown that, despite the negative perceptions of Tinder and its function as a smartphone game, many South Africans use it because they believe they’ll find long-term romantic partners. But even more people use it casually because they’re bored, playing with the app like a kind of game.

How Tinder works

Tinder users can create profiles, upload photos, and provide optional information about themselves. Only the profiles of the people closest to them in the free version of Tinder are visible to users. Profiles can be viewed on the smartphone screen. Users can swipe right or left to choose or reject potential matches. When two users both swipe right on each other’s profiles, they are able to contact each other through the app.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the app opened its “global” function to all users, allowing people to see matches from all over the world and make “quarantine buddies”. This temporarily shifted the main focus of the app to friendship and connection, instead of dating.

These are the findings

My research into South African Tinder use has based on a survey of 260 people, followed by in-depth interviews with 20.

The majority of respondents were between the ages of 20 and 25 years old, with 70% of them identifying as heterosexual. 56% of respondents downloaded the app out of boredom or curiosity. 52% indicated they were looking to find love. Only 12% said that the app was used for social networking and friendship. Tinder is used by more than half the South Africans to browse and scroll through a list of potential suitors. This makes it easy to find romance. The rest are looking for long-term romance.

The in-depth interviews revealed that users are very conscious of how they present their self. Many users stated that they wanted to project a certain image of themselves online. They said that they had the same online persona as offline. However, they used images to market themselves as desirable products. Although they believed they were authentic online, they pointed out the high level of deceit in other profiles. Some people confessed to withholding certain information (such as smoking or having children) in order to increase their chances of finding matches.

The app gave women greater sexual freedoms and more access to potential partners, according to them. They also highlighted a sense of agency through being able to “unmatch” from or block users they felt threatened by, perhaps of particular significance given high levels of crime and gender-based violence in South Africa. Respondents stated that they manage risk by not disclosing personal information, such as work and home addresses, using WhatsApp to communicate with them, before moving the conversation to WhatsApp, then scheduling the first meetup in public places.

Interviewees stated that they searched for multiple matches simultaneously and browsed through the available profiles as if they were looking through a catalogue. Interviewees stated that they felt more confident and accomplished when they matched with someone, much in the same way as a victory in a videogame.

What does it all mean?

South Africans are using Tinder to increase their chances of finding a romantic partner and enhance their courtship relationships. People may have met previously through social connections, friendship groups or interest groups.

The internet is a powerful social media intermediary that has changed the patterns of love, romance, and dating. These online relationships are displacing traditional ideas of monogamy and commitment, as well as romantic love, through the internet.

Tinder South Africa’s unique feature is its ability to help people find long-term relationships and love, despite being feared by some.

Tinder makes online dating a game. Matches are made based on photos and very little information about the other person. Tinder users act like game players, making moves, selecting how to swipe or whether to send a message and then whether to meet in real life, based on the “moves” of the other person in a game-like interface.

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