Dating apps have taken the world by storm, with users of the apps spending enormous amount of time daily on them. Reports say that users are spending over 90 mins daily on swiping left and right. However, what does that do to the self-esteem of its users?
A report by American Psychological Association says that users of these apps tend to have lower self esteem than nonusers. “Tinder users reported having lower levels of satisfaction with their faces and bodies and having lower levels of self-worth than the men and women who did not use Tinder,” said Jessica Strübel, PhD, of the University of North Texas, while presenting the research that she co-authored with Trent Petrie, PhD, also of the University of North Texas. So how do dating affects affect you?
Rejection becomes an everyday norm
While using dating apps, rejection becomes a regularity, something that nonusers deal with lot less everyday. This leads to immediate subconscious impact on one’s self-image and self esteem. In fact, a study found that men face low rate of matching, and over 50% of matches don’t even message back. This makes the user feel disliked and ignored on a regular basis and psychological impact of that is immense.
Online personas wildly different from reality
A study found that online dating personas often turn out to be entirely different from the reality faced on the first date. This leads to severe fracture in expectation that one builds up, and first dates often turn out to be unrewarding and awkward. Often, they two participants may have entirely different expectation from the date itself.
Ghosting and disposability of human beings
Ghosting, a word that stands for sudden to a developing relationship without explanation or forewarning, can be a debilitating experience for the ones who get emotionally involved. The feeling of being part of a conveyer belt of human faces means that the user constantly has to be compete or be disposed. Furthermore, as one Netflix episode depicted, the participants often are ‘disposed’ or reject their partner almost immediately after a negative experience. This makes it impossible to form deeper connections.
Anonymity, deceit and lies are commonplace
Prior the emergence of dating apps, individuals often met through mutual connections, which ensured that they were what they said they were. However, in dating apps, it is extremely easy and commonplace for individuals to create an alternate persona and hide the real behind that veneer. Users often lie about their age, relationship status, profession and this builds mistrust and self-doubt regarding the blooming relationship.
Dating apps definitely have opened a world of possibilities for those seeking connections and relationships. They are especially useful when users find it difficult to meet people outside of their immediate social circle. However, we are yet to discover the true psychological impact of the apps on the human brain and the society in general. Hence users of these apps should prepare themselves and step into that world with care.