This project will examine lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans (LGBT+) and heterosexual people's use of online dating apps to negotiate intimacy during and after COVID 19 lockdowns and social distancing.
We will explore how people used dating apps to start or maintain relationships (including sexual and romantic relationships, and friendships) and how these relationships affect personal resilience. Our data will help us understand how apps can support our emotional and personal needs, and whether they can offer a safer way to be intimate with others at times of high viral risk.
We will investigate the different ways in which LGBT and heterosexual people's intimate lives have been affected by the social restrictions linked to the pandemic. Can dating apps be a place for new kinds of intimacy, and does this in turn help users be more resilient in difficult times? And do apps encourage or discourage behaviour that increases viral risk.
Our data will combine a national online survey with in-depth online qualitative interviews.
We will be working with service providers and community representatives and welcome enquiries from collaborators.