Love Interfaces: Identity and Attachment in Online Dating

Manel Mula Ferrer

Abstract


 

This article explores the processes of identity definition and attachment creation in online dating platforms. Built on my own experience as a user since 2010, my essay is shaped as an autoethnographic theoretical enquiry into the relations between online dating and broader concepts related to the economic and affective spheres of late capitalism. My thesis is that online dating websites operate from the identification of heteronormative homogamic intimacy with the good life and that, as such, they often reproduce offline structural inequalities. Online dating software attempts to recapture the indeterminacy of desire through their interfaces, forcing a process of identity stabilisation validated by the profile photo onto its users, while exposing them to a space prone to relationality. At the same time, the process imbues one’s identity with a sense of validation, appealing to the naturalisation of mediated self-disclosure as exemplified by entertainment formats typical from late capitalism, such as Reality-TV. At the same time, attachment is represented by matches, which reduce the polyvocality associated with desire and equate it to homogamic intimacy while minimising any destabilising factors such as rejection through their design.


Full Text:

PDF

References


Ahmed, Sarah, 2012, The Promise of Happiness, Durham and London, Duke University Press.

Andrejevic, Mark, 2004, Reality TV: The Work of Being Watched, Lanham (MD), Rowman and Littlefield.

Bell, Catherine, 1992, Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice, New York, Oxford University Press.

Berlant, Lauren, 2012, Desire/Love, New York, Punctum Books.

Berlant, Lauren; Lee Edelman, 2014, Sex, or the Unbearable, Durham and London, Duke University Press.

Berlant, Lauren; IPAL Centar, 2016, “LAUREN BERLANT Interview”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih4rkMSjmjs (checked: 14/01/2018).

Berlant, Lauren; Warner, Michael, 2000, “Sex in Public”, in Intimacy, Lauren Berlant ed., London and Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 311-330.

Couldry, Nick 2008, “Reality TV, or The Secret Theatre of Neoliberalism”, Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies 30:1, 3-13.

Durkheim, Emile, 1995, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, Glencoe, Free Press.

Edelman, Lee, 2004, No future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive, Durham (NC), Duke University Press.

Feher, Michel, 2015, “Lecture 7: When Human Capital Rebels: The Case for Embracing Our Neoliberal Condition”, The Age of Appreciation. Lectures on the Neoliberal Condition, 11-03-2015, https://vimeo.com/123325158 (checked: 12/04/15).

Illouz, Eva, 2007, Cold Intimacies. The Making of Emotional Capitalism, Cambridge and Malden (MA), Polity Press.

Kristeva, Julia, 1982, Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection, New York, Columbia University Press.

Massumi, Brian, 1996, “The Autonomy of Affect”, in Deleuze: A Critical Reader, Paul Patton ed., Oxford, Blackwell Publishers.

Massumi, Brian, 2013, “Notes on the Translation and Acknowledgements”, in Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, London and New York, Bloomsbury.

Priest, Patricia J, 1995, Public Intimacies, Creskill (NJ), The Hampton Press.

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky, 1990, Epistemology of the Closet, Berkeley, University of California Press.

Shouse, Eric, "Feeling, Emotion, Affect", M/C Journal 8:6, http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0512/03-shouse.php.

Sontag, Susan, 2005, On Photography, New York, RosettaBooks.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.