‘Swipe right’ – the phrase holds no meaning for oldies, but every millennial knows it! The term has become so common that there are books, documentaries, and even a movie made on it. Even if you don’t use Tinder, you still know that people swipe right if they approve a profile (and swipe left if they don’t). Yes, Tinder has caught on like wild fire (no pun intended), but is that a good thing? Is there an unknown and insidious side to this app? Latest research shows that’s actually quite possible!
The Connection Between Tinder & Your Mental Health
In our age of technosexuality, dating apps seem like the perfect way to meet new people and hopefully find love. However, social psychologists warn that dating apps and social networking sites can wreak havoc on your mental health. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a very real millennial health problem and several studies point to social media as a major cause for unhappiness today. Facebook and Instagram have come under scrutiny before, but now, it’s Tinder’s turn!
Is Tinder Swiping Our Self Esteem?
“People who use Tinder are less satisfied with their face and body and tend to have low self-esteem”
Researchers say that their survey of college students showed a disturbing trend – students who use Tinder are less satisfied with their facial and body appearance, as compared to students who don’t use the app. Tinder users – both men and women also have a greater tendency to compare their appearance to their peers and are more likely to experience body shame as compared to non-users.
The study focused more on women than on men, so researchers were surprised to find that males who used Tinder were more likely to have low self-esteem compared to female users and non-users. Since users accept or reject potential partners based mainly on their photos, people who use the app for a prolonged period start to feel depersonalized and even disposable, which severely affects their sense of worth.
Will Using Tinder Damage Your Self-Image?
“Researchers believe that Tinder can also adversely impact self-image, as some men swipe right even when they have no intention of actually communicating with those matches”
The authors of the study said that the results of their research prove that there is a very clear link between Tinder and self-esteem issues, but it does not prove for a fact that these issues are caused by Tinder. However, the authors caution people not to use these apps as a way to boost their morale or as a means of self-validation.
In fact, another study found that men often swipe right simply for an ego boost even if they have absolutely no intention of speaking to these matches. Obviously, this can have quite a negative impact on women. You don’t need to be a scientist to see that using Tinder can actually damage your self-image!
Love In The Digital Age: What Every Millennial NEEDS To Know
If you’re single and looking to meet someone, the odds are, you’ll eventually try Tinder or any of the other online dating apps. Before you dive in, fortify yourself mentally, so that you can deal with rejections and approvals with a cool head. The first thing you should know is that although there are plenty of creeps out there looking for a quick hookup, there are also lots of nice guys out there. So, the best thing you can do is remain cautiously optimistic. Also, don’t expect to meet your soul mate right away, in fact, you should accept that you may never find your soul mate on Tinder, but you might just make a few new friends and broaden your social circle.
Tinder can make you feel like crap or it can make you feel like a million dollars – but as far as possible, keep your emotions separate!
September 22, 2017