Are We Addicted To Dating Apps?


How many of you have used a well known dating app and wasted hours obsessively swiping?

Tinder is pretty much the norm, now a days when it comes to dating. It’s an easy option that you can do at home, in your PJs and with no shame, swiping the hours away. You don’t even have to meet the people; you can send messages, “connect” and then move on to the next one. It’s the modern way of dating. Whether you’re looking for a date, a hookup or love, the apps you use to get you there are normally designed with one goal in mind: to keep you coming back for more.

The basis of Tinder is simple. Users can upload up to six photos, along with a 500 character description. This is known as a profile, which becomes visible to other Tinder users in the vicinity. Users can then like (‘swipe right’) or dislike (‘swipe left’) other profiles.

Around seven million UK residents are currently registered on dating sites, and it’s estimated one in three relationships in the UK now starts online. Apps like Tinder are made to make finding someone easy.

Tinder is a hooking up app for many, a convenient and efficient to get your kicks. No strings attached. I have no problem with anyone going out and getting it on if that’s what both parties intend but when one is looking for love and the other a one a lay, that’s when things get sticky.
I have never used the app so maybe I am not the best person to be commenting on it, I met my husband before the invention of “APPS” and met him the old fashioned way, and I was drunk and snogged him at a party. HA!

I do have many friends who use the app and I even have two friends who went on to meet their husbands through it, so it can’t be all bad. I do feel though that this app can be dangerous not just for your love life but also for your mental health. Just like on other platforms of social media, social and psychological issues can arise with the immediate gratification you gain from them. The “high” feeling of getting a match can be addictive even if you don’t intend to follow through but the feeling that someone “likes” you, it’s the same rush of endorphins when someone likes an Instagram post, we feel wanted, accepted.

The match gratification can easily turn into a problem because like most addictions, it will take up a lot of your time. A survey recently found that among the 26 million daily matches that Tinder claim occur on the app every day, only 7% of male users and 21% of female users send a message when we get a match. Apps are increasingly losing their original purpose, with users aimlessly swiping without intention.

You are relying on validation from others to feel good about yourself, rather than building real relationships face to face. Most that use the app are now using it to seek out an ego boosting mistrust instead of love. You enjoy that someone out there liked the look of you; it’s a quick and easy mood booster when you’re feeling down and low about yourself.

The past few years have seen a rise of ghosting (when a person vanishes), bread crumbing(It’s the act of sending noncommittal but flirtatious messages), and unsolicited dick pics (no thanks). Mindlessly swiping is much easier rather than going on an actual date, you don’t even have to make any effort or try to be your best self, in fact you can be whoever the hell you want to be! You never plan on meeting them anyway. This is known as “catfishing“.

What is catfishing?

‘Catfishing’ is when someone creates fake profiles on social media sites to trick people into thinking they are somebody else. It is most common on social media and dating apps like Tinder. They make up life stories and use photographs of unsuspecting victims to create fake identities or “stretch” the truth about themselves. One of the biggest reasons people catfish seems to be because they don’t feel confident in whom they really are, so they pretend they’re someone else.

With the high range of people available on the app this may lead to a “throwaway society.” Do dating apps such as Tinder reinforce a culture of individual relinquishment? If so, This is creating a world of mental stress for the persons devoted to the APP, who are looking for love, it can also promote bitterness and distrust between members of both sex. Neither are beneficial for the future relationships.Tinder opens up a world of dating that people who maybe wouldn’t have “gotten out there” before; it allows you to meet others, experiment (new experiences) and in some cases meet the love of your life. But this APP doesn’t work for everyone, the constant games that are played, the addiction to the endless swiping and endless cycle of fleeting communications could strengthen a persons already low self-esteem.

With modern stresses and now the use of these app, we are likely to see a knock-on impact on mental health. The lowered dependability in relationships, the negative response between two people, and the increased pressure on looks being a front focus are all concerning given the already unquestioned trends towards increased depression and anxiety in those using these apps.

All these aspects could shift an already influential kinship of social factors and individual thought and behaviours; changing the ideas about real human contact, sexual relationships and the mental health of an individual.

Tinder may be fun, harmless and yes, in some cases has worked for many, but noxious if not taken with a pinch of salt. People, this is essentially speed dating. And it’s based primarily on appearances . There’s a 99% chance you aren’t going to meet Prince Charming here but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, just be careful.

photo credit: nodstrum Datings Apps via photopin (license)
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