Markowitz, D.M., Hancock, J.T., & Tong, S.T. (2018). Interpersonal Dynamics in Online Dating: Profiles, Matching, and Discovery. In Z. Papacharissi (Ed.) A Networked Self and Love. New York, Routledge.
The authors investigate the dynamics of online dating by looking at three benchmarks of the dating experience. They first investigate the profile stage and evaluate how people use photos and text to form an online identity and enhance their appearance. Second, they examine the matching stage, a decision-making period when daters indicate romantic interest in a partner based on profile information. The authors identify how the matching process occurs and whom daters tend to match with. Finally, they discuss the discovery phase, which occurs after profile matching, but before a face-to-face interaction, when mediated conversation influences if people will meet in person. The authors then identify the relationship and psychological dynamics that occur during the discovery phase and examine how they affect the possibility of a face-to-face meeting. “Online dating” is an umbrella term for using the Internet to facilitate a romantic connection and interaction. Most web-based sites have mobile versions, but few dating applications operate on the Web.