Tinder allows us to connect with strangers for love, romance, and weird messages at 2 am. While the dating app might seem like a modern miracle, it might actually be doing more damage to you than you think.
A recent study says that people who don't use Tinder are happier than people who are users of the popular dating app. We now officially have science to back up that gross feeling you feel after an evening of swiping on strangers.
The study was conducted using 1,317 students, including 70 female Tinder users and 32 male Tinder users. Participants were asked to rate themselves in terms of body satisfaction and shame, comparison of their looks to others, self-monitoring of appearance, and objectification.
The study found that those who used Tinder (both men and women) were more unhappy with their bodies. The Tinder users were more likely to monitor and objectify their appearances compared to the students who were not on Tinder.
Additionally, people on the app were more likely to engage in body-shaming and body-monitoring. In other words, when evaluating themselves, people who use the app felt generally worse about themselves than people who don't.
“People are living in a surreal world, creating these unattainable ideals and expectations that no one can meet. It’s creating a 24/7 constant need for impression and appearance management," said lead author Jessica Strübel of the University of North Texas.
Surprisingly (or not), the study found that the men who used Tinder had the lowest self-esteem. A possible explanation is that since there are more men on Tinder, so they get swiped left on more often. Additionally, women tend to be more discerning in who they swipe right on.
Additionally, there are more men on Tinder than women, and men are more likely to swipe right (almost blindly it seems sometimes), so the likelihood of getting rejected on Tinder is higher for men. Hey, we all can't be a whiskey-drinking model/CEO.
Researchers believe that men might be starting to experience the same objectification that women have been experiencing. “The negative effects that women have been experiencing pretty consistently for 40, 50 years, men might be now experiencing,” said co-author Trent Petrie, also of University of North Texas.
Of course, prior studies have found that men who indiscriminately swipe right or message a lot of women are less likely to get a response because they are more focused on their own needs and are unaware of how attractive they might (or might not) be to potential dates. They needed a study to figure that out?
Prior studies have shown linked social media, such as Facebook, to self-esteem and body-image problems - but now we know that dating apps can do the same thing. Because seeing your best friend from grade school in happy on vacation Aruba with her millionaire husband is never fun.
Researchers caution that since the sample size was relatively small, it might not be reflective of the feelings of all 50 million Tinder users. Additionally, the study did not indicate whether the self-esteem issues were specifically caused by Tinder.