Racialised Digital Dating Experiences of Mobile Dating Application Users


  • Maureen Tanner University of Cape Town




Ethnicities, Race, Mobile Dating, Tinder, Racialised Mobile Dating, Affordances


With the emergence of mobile dating applications like Tinder, people have changed how they pursue romantic relationships. However, real-world issues pertaining to race and ethnicity that often emerge as people interact are still being experienced in the virtual world. Given the increased popularity of mobile dating applications, there is a pressing need to explore how racialised digital dating are manifested online. The study therefore explored the racialised digital dating experiences of users of the mobile dating application Tinder as well as the influence of Tinder’s affordances on these experiences. Through a qualitative study based on 25 semi-structured interviews, the study identified three categories of racialised digital dating experiences,: Matching Experiences, Communication & Interaction as well as Fetichism & Stereotypes. The study also revealed how Tinder affordances of Locatability, Multimediality, and Visual Dominance could be actualised by users to achieve their preferred racialised digital dating experiences.