Tinder Hearts: Navigating the Youth Dating Scene in Precarious Times


By Taylor Casteen

“So what do you think about Tinder? I’m interested, why are you doing this?” This is a question one of my respondents asked me at the end of our interview, and it’s a question I’ve had to ask myself several times over the course of my research. Why am I so interested in Tinder, a dating platform that, from most of my respondents’ standpoint and from my own, is only used for fun and as a cure for the tediousness of everyday life? But the real question in the end was not why I cared about Tinder, but why I cared about our generation’s relationship with dating as a whole.

In the beginning my motivation was rather simple: I was bitter.  Reeling from my most recent failed relationship, I had decided to throw my hands up in defeat and accept the fact that love was a lost cause in today’s world and that the whole idea of being in a relationship as a 20-something today was a complete waste of everyone’s time. And like so many others, both in my own generation and in older ones, I blamed the popularity of hook-up based “dating” apps like Tinder for this. For years now I have been fed up with my generation’s seemingly universal idea that serious connections and commitment were things to be feared, replaced by temporary intimate fixes, moving from one to the other at the rate of how internet memes gain and lose popularity daily. So, fueled by bitterness, and a need for a research topic, I decided to make what I assumed was the guilty party of this mentality the subject of my project.  Continue reading


Talking Race on Tumblr


By Tania Uruchima

Introduction: Why Tumblr?

The summer I returned home from my first year at college, I dealt with the beginning of a long run of growing pains. I am a first-generation college student from a low-income immigrant family that was thrilled, and a little perplexed, at my enrollment in a prestigious liberal arts college. My first summer break, I spent days telling my family everything, trying to put into words how vastly different were the things I saw, the people I spoke to, even the things I ate. To my increasing disappointment, I realized that those I had left back home didn’t have the context to understand what I was going through. I learned to pull back, learned that talk of structures and theories had to stay at my college. Home was not a place where I knew how to translate this new knowledge. Continue reading

Facebook addicts: How we use the only place where bragging is acceptable


By Monica Reason

Being of the millennial generation, we are the first to have grown up with social media. The biggest influence during these past eight years of our lives has been Facebook. I remember when it was launched: I was just getting into MySpace, which by then had died down within my social circle. My mother had not allowed me to get on any social media sites in fear of online predators. Since I had to follow the trend among my peer group by connecting to everyone online, I switched immediately from MySpace to Facebook. Facebook is where everyone can share anything about themselves, showing some discretion and conscientiousness in what to post. We are all guilty of some form of sharing what makes us look good, whether it is our greatest accomplishments, adventurous travels, exhilarating concert experiences, or our ‘stupid’ faces that we hope will get compliments and reassurances instead. Because of Facebook’s immense impact on our daily lives, I felt the need to research its addictive and behavior-changing attributes, as I see how it has affected my own self-esteem and perceptions of the world around me. Why do we feel the need to post our most fun and important moments on Facebook? How does Facebook dictate this type of posting behavior, in particular by having the ‘liking‘ system, and how does this system of judgment affect our self-esteem and the way we use Facebook? For this paper, I have researched these points with a survey and depth-interviews to study the effects of Facebook on self-esteem, narcissistic tendencies, conformity and the accuracy of Facebook’s ‘Year-in-Review’ application. Continue reading

Tindering all over the world: How youth experience the changing landscape of love


By Joanna Chiang

Walking home from a party on a Thursday night almost two years ago, a man in a luxury SUV with a familiar-looking flame sticker on the back popped his head out of the driver’s window to ask me a question. ‘Excuse me miss, are you on Tinder by chance?’ Coincidentally, I had just recently downloaded the iPhone ‘social discovery’ application after seeing several of my female roommates mindlessly swiping left and right to various profiles as an easy cure for boredom. I chuckled and told this mystery man that I was indeed on Tinder. He proceeded to ask me a few questions about why I laughed when I said that, why I use it, and if I chat or meet up in-person with my matches. At that time, I was only using the application as a way to kill time and even as an occasional ego boost, but the app had admittedly become quite popular throughout my social circles. To me and a lot of my peers, Tinder was just a fun little game with no consequences; it had very little effect on my romantic life and was widely seen as a kind of joke. I had no intention of ever responding to any of my matches, let alone meeting up with them in person. Continue reading

Pokémon communities: A look as to why this blasted trend is still around and still strong


By Thomas Smith

The information is outdated. The breaking news is old history. The spoilers now rest in common knowledge. Upon writing this essay half a year ago, I knew that the information content I was analyzing and processing would be out of date in six months, eight weeks, or heck, maybe two days.

The themes? Still applicable (for now). As expected.

This interactive essay/blog serves as a snapshot, a glimpse into a time when new content information was released and heavily shared (and a peek into a period where I believed tumblr was an appropriate medium for an interactive, academic blog). It provides a look into the processes, actions, and exchanges in the Pokémon Community pre- and post- release of new games Pokémon X and Pokémon Y. While the themes and theories of online gaming communication are overarching, the fulfillment and practices upholding them are ever-changing, shaped by the inflow and outflow of new information. Where this essay serves as a slice out of history, unaltered and unedited since its creation, it leaves the option for future exploration and longitudinal study.

Enter the essay here.

(Written for Youth Cultures in a Transnational Context)