The psychology of cyber dating
In fact, users of dating apps are expected to feel higher levels of distress, sadness, and depression, and feel greater pressure to be ‘attractive’ and thin.
In support of this, Anita Chlipala, a licensed therapist and dating expert, confessed that she sees, “more anxiety and sometimes depression” develop in clients that use dating apps, stating that they experience lower levels of self-esteem, and question their self-worth, and develop insecurities, often building a mental wall around themselves to protect their emotions which have become more fragile with each time that they have been hurt.
Trent Petrie, professor of psychology at the University of North Texas seconds this, stating that, “with a focus on appearance and social comparisons, individuals can become overly sensitised to how they look and appear to others and ultimately begin to believe that they fall short of what is expected of them in terms of appearance and attractiveness”.
Jessica Strübel Ph D, also of the University of North Texas, conducted a study alongside Petrie, in which, 1,044 women and 273 men, predominantly undergraduate students, were asked to complete questionnaires about their usage of Tinder, their body image, socio-cultural factors, perceived objectification, and psychological well-being.
Therefore, it’s only understandable that someone tossing away their efforts in earnest will hurt a user.
The whole concept of swiping, can encourage users to feel like a ‘better’ option is going to reveal itself upon the next swipe, leading to dismissal and unrealistic expectations.
Concluding that, “the way these apps are designed are around appearances, non-emotional online communication, and they are about ubiquity and endless promise”.Roughly, 10% of the pool reported that they used Tinder, and interestingly, both male and female users reported feeling less satisfaction with their bodies and appearance than non-users.However, only male users reported lower levels of self-esteem.“We found that being actively involved with Tinder, regardless of the user’s gender, was associated with body dissatisfaction, body shame, body monitoring, internalisation of societal expectations of beauty, comparing oneself physically to others, and reliance on media for information on appearance and attractiveness”, Strübel stated.Or does technology affect what qualities are perceived as important in a partner?Is online dating less like a ‘natural’ and ‘authentic’ interaction?