Psychology: Tinder dating app bad for our self-esteem

Men are particularly affected by the reduced self-esteem
Many people today try to find a future partner or entertaining flirtations via so-called mobile dating apps such as Tinder. Texas researchers have now found that Tinder users have a significantly lower self-esteem. Men are particularly affected.

The University of North Texas scientists found in an investigation that users of the dating app Tinder often have a reduced self-esteem. The doctors released a press release on the results of their study.

Many people use dating apps
Nowadays, when people want to get to know someone easily, they often use a so-called commercial mobile dating app on their smartphone. The researchers can then use this app to contact other people in their vicinity. The app enables people to find both permanent acquaintances and short-term flirts.

The result is quite surprising
The users of the dating app often suffer from reduced self-esteem, with men particularly affected, the researchers report. This result is surprising compared to previous studies. They showed that it is actually the self-perception of women that is most affected by visual media such as magazines, television and social networks, the scientists explain.

Doctors examine over 1,300 subjects
For the study, the experts interviewed 1,044 female and 273 male students. The doctors wanted to analyze the effects of Tinder on psychosocial well-being. In this investigation, the researchers found that there is a correlation between the use of the dating app and various so-called self-worth indicators. These included, for example, satisfaction with your own body and general self-esteem.

Men had a significantly low self-esteem due to Tinder
When it comes to self-esteem, men who used Tinder show clear restrictions, explains author Jessica Strubel. When thinking about the negative effects of such apps on self-esteem, experts were more likely to assume that women are more affected by the negative effects.

Tinder relies on the attractiveness of the individual
Tinder users use their smartphones to view individual images and data. Then the person is either classified as attractive and interesting or simply pushed away. This method relies on the attractiveness of the individual, the researchers explain. Other character attributes are neglected. This superficial classification can obviously damage psychological well-being. Regardless of gender, Tinder users reported less psychosocial well-being. There were also more indicators of body dissatisfaction compared to non-users.

Current Tinder system does not work in the men's favor
The reported effects on participants were actually relatively the same for both genders. However, there was one exception to male self-esteem. This was affected more than women, say the experts. The reduced male self-esteem could result from the emotionally vulnerable position that many men are exposed to on Tinder, the researchers explain. Even for men with relatively high self-esteem, the current Tinder system doesn't seem to work in their favor.

Tinder enables instant feedback
Many other social media have been explored several times, but Tinder is still relatively new. Tinder puts most focus on physical appearance and instant feedback, the scientists say. This can have negative effects for users if, for example, romantic interest is suddenly ignored or contacts are ended without an explanation.

The effects of Tinder have so far hardly been investigated
Especially among young people who feel socially isolated and are concerned about their appearance, this could be a potential reason for participating in social media. While the psychosocial effects of social media offerings like Facebook have been largely investigated, this is one of the first Tinder studies, the experts say.

More research is needed
Further efforts are needed to better understand the immediate and long-term effects of the app. Larger and more diverse groups of users need to be examined. This allows a more detailed analysis of how users of such apps feel when they are rejected or accepted on Tinder or similar dating sites. (as)

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