I happn to like New York

Matthew Lyons
2020 unpublished
Smartphones are continually creating new forms of interaction, coordination, and exchange in and through cities. These immensely popular portable devices weave themselves into the fabric of everyday urban life, becoming part of that very fabric. Within this context, the smartphone has become an important interface with the urban space, due to its ability to wirelessly connect users to people, places, ideas, and information. Location-based applications such as Google Maps, for example, enable
more » ... rs to access new layers of information about urban spaces in situ, offering them a transformed experience thereof. Scholars from a range of academic disciplines have, over the last ten to fifteen years, sought to understand the ways that smartphones affect people's relationships to place and space, with the vast majority focussing on orientation and wayfinding applications (or 'apps'). The aim of this thesis is to determine whether a different kind of application—namely, a dating app—influences urban users' sense of place. Due to the lack of research in this area, an exploratory approach was chosen for this thesis, with a methodology based on semi-structured interviews. It was found that though smartphones may, on the whole, distract people from their immediate environment, location-based dating applications allow users to explore urban spaces in remarkable new ways. By offering insights into the cultural dynamics of cities, these applications enable a greater awareness of one's social surroundings and contribute to an enhanced sense of place for the user.
doi:10.25365/thesis.65478 fatcat:xegyyzpwnrbjtjxp43uznfab3q