The Effects of Social Media on College Dating Culture
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Work67 pages
Researchers have looked at social media and dating culture of college students, but not the interaction of the two. Knowing how students interact with social media and direct messaging within their dating process provides a better understanding of the alternative methods for achieving desired relations, whether that be a committed relationship or a casual hook-up. Social Penetration Theory (Wang & Tang, 2012) was applied to explore the idea that gradually people reveal more about themselves as they get closer to another person. A total of 108 university students completed an online questionnaire related to experiences with dating history, romantic relationship status, and social media, including the concept of "Sliding into DMs" (direct messages) where an individual sends a direct message through a social media app to initiate a sexual relationship. Results confirm most students (97.2%) use social media daily and 1 in 5 have initiated a relationship through social media. Currently 25% of students are hooking-up while 43% are in a relationship. Halfreported having slid into someone's DM, while 3 out 4 reported having responded to someone that had slid into their DM. Females are more likely to report someone slid into their DM. Additional findings are congruent with the social penetration theory. For example, a longer duration of time was reported in a DM conversation before gaining a relationship for those who had slid into someone's DM compared to those who hadn't, F (1, 24) = 7.105, p = .014, M = 4.25 (SD = 1.33) and M = 2.67 (SD = 1.033), respectively. College students were also more likely to report in-depth conversations online, compared to basic ones, before beginning either a relationship or a hook-up, regardless of whether they sent or received the DM. Overall results show that social media does play a role in many college students' dating processes.