2. RISK IN MOBILE DATING: A BRIEF RETROSPECTIVE
CONCLUSION New research into mobile dating needs to be responsive to the sociomaterial conditions of people’s lives, as this pandemic continues to rapidly and differentially evolve across the globe
Taking a lens that examines risk and emotion in concert (Lupton, 2013) would additionally be valuable in conducting an inquiry into how intimacy is formed and experienced through current threats of infection and conditions of uncertainty. For instance, what is people’s imagined sense of how they can feel, respond and act in relation to other human and non?human actors (i.e., in relation to others, in the context of a pandemic, and through mobile dating technologies)? To answer this question, we need to understand the variety of ‘affective practices’ that are at play (Lupton, 2013; Wetherell, 2012)-how emotion and intimacy can be created, understood and enacted within material and discursive contexts of risk. Methodologically, we need to examine ‘the active work of meaning making [through emotion and discourse] in situ and its practical organisation’ (Wetherell et al., 2015, p. 57), in this case, between people, through dating apps, and in the context of the pandemic with prevailing discourses and practices of risk, threat and uncertainty.
I would like to thank Antonia Lyons, Deborah Lupton and Clive Aspin for their generous input into earlier versions of this commentary.
Mobile dating platforms were seemingly able to leverage the pandemic as an opportunity to experiment with new video technology and features, advising users on how to ‘date from home’ successfully, thereby promoting virtual dates to users who might otherwise have questioned the purpose of dating apps (Coombe et al., 2020; Myles et al., 2021). (more…)