Lisa Portolan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. When Tinder issued an in-app public service announcement regarding COVID on March 3 we all had a little laugh as a panoply of memes and gags hit the internet.
Two weeks later the laughter has subsided, but the curiosity continues. How will singles mingle in the time of Corona?
But while these people first made the connection online, for many if not mostthe connection eventually moved to real-life. So what now with social distancing? In a time of spatial distancing, dating apps present a solution — to boredom, for connection — and also a risk.
What responsibilities do dating apps have in relation to hook-ups and meet-ups and social distancing, if any? Dating apps continue to serve public service announcements in-app, as well as encouraging people to use their chat and video functionalities to continue exploring potential relationships. Social media points to another interesting trend: people are changing their interaction patterns in dating apps, or dating app discussions are becoming corona-centric.
Indian Tinder users described a rise in longer Tinder conversations. In the Jane Austen romance world, a protracted courtship might involve a spate of love letters.
We still want to connect …
To match this new phenomena, dating apps are pushing to keep the majority of the relationship in-app. With the prospect of months of self-isolation how will we navigate sex?
After all, not everyone has a sexual partner readily available. A notice about sex and coronavirus from the New York City Department of Health went viral last weekend. The tables are suddenly turned: online hook-ups were ly framed as less wholesome than face-to-face ones.
Yet in they are perceived as safer. Connection is sought after in times of uncertainty, risk and crisis. We are in the middle of a historical re-jigging of our understanding of romance, intimacy and sex.
Plymouth Contemporary — Plymouth, Devon. Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. Lisa PortolanWestern Sydney University.