Categories: Mental Health

5 Reasons Why Dating Apps Are Harmful To Your Mental Health

Right, left, right, right. How many more swipes will it take for you to enter the cloud of utter mental dismay? Studies have demonstrated that nearly 30 million Americans are addicted to dating applications and that more than half of the population has experienced some form of mental deterioration which as a result, has greatly hindered one’s perception of oneself.

 The next time you start swiping, make sure to ask yourself if you have experienced any of these things. 

1. Injure Self Esteem

Dating apps are harmful because swipe after swipe you encounter a new face that you cannot help but compare yourself to. You ponder whether or not you might be out of his or her league because they visually look a certain way. This mindless action of swiping through potential partners and thus seeing many different women or men, heightens one’s self-doubt, while also bringing hidden and new insecurities to the surface. It was recorded by the Pew Research Center that almost 25% of adult users have reported feeling insecure in the year of 2019. However, this percentage has since increased due to more users joining the playing field.  

Countless of loved-ones have shared their experiences in regards to their hindered self-esteem due to the usage of dating applications such as Tinder or Bumble. They mentioned that it is inevitable that you will face rejection, in other words, not everyone you decide to swipe right on will return the favor for your profile. This increases frustration as well as self-doubt. You repeatedly question whether it was your body, face, age, or biography that did not please them. That is also where a magnified sense of self-dissatisfaction kicks in and starts to take you down a dark path.  

2. Increased Addictive Behavior

Both men and women equally crave a romantic partner. By swiping left and right you are on a constant look out for the “Its a match!” sign. However, dating apps are harmful because the persistent fear of being rejected or eliminated, feeds your compulsive behavior and thus encourages you to use the application for an extensive period of time. It has been recorded that one in six singles have felt that they were addicted to finding a date. Among millennials, individuals between the ages 18-30, have admitted to spending more than 20 hours a week! That is almost 85 minutes spent by men, while 79 minutes spent by women, each day!

Being on a dating application is an exorbitant expense and can take away your focus off of activities that you enjoy and, most importantly, that do not compromise your mental health. Make sure to preoccupy your mind with things that make you happy, so you can swap the time spent on the dating applications. So, the next time you want to hop on that app, make sure you restrict your time!

3. Increased Levels of Anxiety and Depression

Before the era of digital dating, people would meet each other in social gatherings. In other words, you were most likely exposed to a single individual whom you found interesting enough, at a bar or through a mutual friend. However, dating apps are harmful because ewith the dramatic entrance of digital dating you are exposed to several romantic interests. This fact can have negative effects on your mental state.

Rejection is inevitable and can affect your mental health. According to a study made by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, rejection via dating applications causes the stimulation of the brain that processes physical pain. In other words, the brain cannot differentiate between physical and emotional pain, or in this case, between a broken heart and a broken limb. This distortion between the two types of pain puts you in great distress, allowing you to experience increased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. 

4. Increased Sense of Paranoia

By promoting the best version of yourself on these dating applications, you are inclined to engage with other players, giving you the false hope of turning the situation into a reality. The next thing you know that fluid conversation ends with an abrupt mark that your message has been read by the receiver, or in short, you have been ghosted. Here, is when you feel a sense of rejection, yet also the sentiment of severe paranoia. 

See Also

According to Kathryn Caduto, the author of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, the author emphasizes the notion that after putting the idealized version of yourself, while failing to find a partner, you question whether the problem is you. You analyze the entire conversation and try to scope out the sentence that might have turned the situation sour. Additionally, dating apps are harmful because you analyze your profile to see if they simply did not find you as attractive compared to the next person.

You see? You have successfully entered the realm of paranoia, constantly questioning where you might have gone wrong when in reality none of it was your fault.

5. Increase Distress

Even if you are someone who does not deal with suffering mental health, you are put under significant distress without consciously validating that fact when using dating applications. All of your energy diverts to choosing the correct pictures, writing an idealized biography about yourself, while constantly comparing yourself to strangers. By the end of the day, you have logged out from the application feeling as though your mental state has been severely wounded. It has been recorded that dating application users experienced more distress, compared to those who did not have an online dating account.

That information can be validated through some of my friends, who have forced themselves to delete their accounts due to the increased levels of distress they would undergo after each swipe. Now they are working on their own mental health and have greatly benefitted from detaching themselves from the digital dating world!

Dating applications are not all bad, that is if you know how to use them without it greatly obstructing your mental health. The next time you start swiping, make sure to check up on yourself because dating apps are harmful in a lot of ways. Always put yourself and your mental health first!

Sophie Guerrero

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