Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Ruth Hickerson

Second Advisor

Cindy Hagemeier White

Third Advisor

Matthew Brown

Abstract

A rising rate of young gay and bisexual male adults are appropriating gay online dating technologies, specifically through the medium of mobile applications, as the main form of meeting other men like themselves. Judgements or stances on these online applications commonly insinuate that they are used for casual and immediate gratifications through the act of a sexual hookup. This study addresses how young homosexual men are personally engaging and understanding their use of gay mobile applications. The study employs a qualitative and interpretive method of research through using one-on-one interviews. This study recruited twelve men aged 18-26 to provide their thoughts and accounts of their downloaded mobile dating apps and how their meeting with other users online transpired in person. Findings from the interviews indicate that gay mobile apps are more than just a place to meet with someone for sexual intentions, but rather a place of numerously communicated on goings. Communication not only takes place through the form of online written language, but also through self-presented identity in the exchange of photos with other users. Findings reveal that the apps serve as a geographically location based space of possibly fulfilling meaningful interpersonal connections. This replaces the former need for young adults to solely rely on physically labeled gay institutions for meeting others. The conclusions of this study expose the importance gay mobile apps have on the young adult community in meeting men who are seeking men, and the varying reasons they have for doing so.