Technology

The dark side of dating apps

Dating apps are attracting an increasing number of users. Although these technologies are now almost integral to how young people are approaching, new research seems to indicate that the facilities offered by technology are costly.

By relieving users of the difficulties of getting to know new people and offering millions of potential matches, applications like Tinder and Match.com allow their users to get to know people easily and quickly – with just one click. Match.com now has more than 7 million subscribers paying for online platform services, while the popular Tinder app allows about 1.6 billion “swipes” every day and leads to about 1.5 million appointments a week (one to two per user, on average).

However, these applications also affect the character that relations acquire today. Users seem to prefer short-term sexual relations to “one night stand” according to a research by the University of Science and Technology of Norway. As users grow, the lesser the stigma of finding their match online is reduced.

However, according to experts, the ease with which the internet offers in this area is not necessarily the same as the happiness that users seek. A study published in 2011 by the National Academy of Sciences of the United States concluded that rejection triggers the same part of the brain as the treatment of bodily pain.

Such online dating services drive users more often into erotic disappointments, which happens when someone does not respond to their message or disappears after the first appointment. As a result, the discomfort and frustration that causes a rejection and which this study relates to how we experience physical pain are much more common today, suggesting that these users suffer more than older generations who did not experience rejection with the same frequency.

In addition, Body Image published in 2017 a survey of the relationship between the use of such applications and user self-confidence levels. This study was conducted with 1,300 participants (most of whom are university-level students) who were asked about the use of Tinder, as well as about how they perceive themselves and their bodies.

The results of the survey showed that, indeed, Tinder users had much lower self-confidence and worse image of themselves and their body than non-users. Applications make people feel that their contacts are impersonal and ephemeral, while creating a kind of obsession with their bodies. The result is to judge themselves strictly, to see their defects more intense and to create the need for an endless search, in order to find the “ideal” match – which probably does not exist.

Such feelings create great insecurity and increased rates of depression among users.

Professor of Psychology, Alejandro Lleras, argued that, according to the results of a survey conducted in 2016 and responsible for him, there is evidence to confirm the relationship between technology addiction and anxiety  or depression. He said the relationship between mobile phone use or technology and mental health should be further studied by experts.