I used to use dating apps all the time. I thought they were so FUN.
Bored? Just log onto this little game on your phone and start swiping through an endless slew of single men. Then, you can even actually hang out with ones you like IRL and maybe even get a free meal out of it. What's not to love?
Well, it got really old for me after a while. The endless slew of single men started feeling more stressful than hopeful, and having to sit through a painful conversation with a virtual stranger started making the free meals seem less and less worth it.
Overall, I started realizing the whole experience just sort of made me sad. But I could never understand why. What was it about that sort of dating that bummed me out more than regular, real life dating?
A new study seems to have an answer for me. People who use Tinder tend to have lower levels of self-esteem and more body image issues.
People who use Tinder tend to have lower levels of self-esteem and more body image issues.
In a statement, one of the study's authors, Jessica Strübel, explained what she found to be the drawback of the seemingly fun dating app:
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.
To conduct their study, Strübel, along with Trent Petrie, PhD (both faculty members at the University of North Texas) and the rest of their colleagues, asked a group of 1,300 people, mostly college students, to rate how they generally felt about themselves.
Through questionnaires and self-reports with questions like "How satisfied are you with your thighs?" and “How likely are you to make physical comparisons to others?” the researchers sought to find out the respondents' perception of their own body image and self-esteem.
What they found was super interesting. As I already alluded to before when I shared Strübel's statement with you, dating apps seem to be detrimental to self-esteem and body image.
But who is being affected the most by this negative outcome? The study finds that it's actually men, not women, who have the lowest levels of self-esteem from using dating apps.
The researchers speculate that this is probably because men are more likely to swipe right (like someone) than women. This makes a man's likelihood of rejection higher. Needless to say, the higher instance of rejection can usually lead to lower self-esteem.
So maybe if you're a guy trying not to get your self-esteem crushed on Tinder or Bumble or whatever other dating app is cool right now, try to be a little picky about who you swipe right on.
Citations: How Does Tinder Work? Dating App Users Have Low Self-Esteem, Study Says (Medical Daily), Love me Tinder: Body image and Psychosocial Functioning Among Men and Women (APA), Tinder: Swiping self esteem? (Eureka Alert)