chapter  10
14 Pages

In with expectations and out with disappointment

Gay-tailored social media and the redefinition of intimacy
ByYin Zhang, John Nguyet Erni

This chapter presents a broader definition of intimacy that encompasses emotional or sexual closeness with another person, as this definition allows for more flexibility in interpreting the relationships formed on gay-tailored social media. It suggests that the relationship between social media technologies and intimacy in the formation and fading-out processes experienced by gay individuals. Communication pattern also hints at a very common and recursive struggle experienced by gay individuals: users enter (virtual networks) with expectations and exit with disappointment. Gay-tailored social media are imperfect, and emotional fluctuation always accompanies usage, but such platforms provide the most direct way of getting involved in the circle. The low cost of using social media has enabled massive adoption among the gay population. Furthermore, location proximity and immediate interaction have led the online interaction to parallel offline, non-virtual life. These social media platforms place a heavy emphasis on the construction of profiles and the removal of constraints when seeking sexual contact.