Investigating the effects of users' perceptions of temporality on a Japanese gay dating site

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Traditionally, studies of Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) have relied heavily on the concepts of synchronicity and asynchronicity to investigate how technological communication mediums constrain and expand language use. However, due to the new 'social turn' in CMC research which emphasises the examination of individual users' socially motivated use of CMC, it has become necessary to investigate how CMC is affected by users' perceptions of temporality. Through the analysis of 200 posts from a Japanese gay dating site, this study examines how users' desires and engagement with the site’s multi-modal structure affect perceptions of how to appropriately utilise temporal language in order to elicit off-site interactions. It was found that the structure of the site somewhat privileged the immediate gratification of desires, and that users signalled their awareness of this norm through the adoption of temporal language. Furthermore, users with long-term desires utilised various temporal strategies in order to overcome the perceived social norm of immediacy. These findings suggest that users' perceptions of temporality affect their linguistic strategies more saliently than the technological medium of the site itself, highlighting the importance of engaging with social approaches to the examination of CMC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalMonash University linguistics papers
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer-mediated Communication (CMC)
  • temporality
  • desire
  • Discourse Analysis (DA)


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