Click, Swipe, Connect: Flirting Directly and Indirectly through Online Mediums and In-Person Interactions

Natasha Motamed, Sasha Bok, Angelica Limoanco, Ashley Lopez

Does the medium in which you flirt with someone change your flirting style? Are you more likely to use direct language such as complimenting when trying to flirt online versus in-person, or are you more likely to use a pick-up line? The following research project will investigate how individuals flirt online via private messaging on dating apps such as Hinge, Bumble, and Tinder, and text messages versus in-person interactions and whether they use direct or indirect language in their flirting practices. Based on previous findings, we hypothesized that flirting on various online mediums will employ greater directness, whereas in-person flirting would consist of more indirect language. To test these hypotheses, we compared screenshots of online flirting interactions with flirting scenes between contestants on The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise.

Our main finding was that flirting on online mediums consisted of both direct and indirect communication through the usage of compliments and pick-up lines, respectively. Therefore, our hypothesis was partly true in predicting that online mediums would at least employ direct communication. On the other hand, we were surprised to discover that in-person flirting employed direct communication rather than indirect communication, which was what we had initially predicted.

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