I’ve talked about how online dating apps are a great thing plenty of times, but I can’t help but wonder if they’re actually doing more harm than good when it comes to confidence. Sure, we’ve all used things like Tinder, Bumble or Hinge, among others, but have any of us ever wondered why too much of a good thing can be bad?
The thought first popped into my head this week while visiting my best friend in Los Angeles. Just moving here from New York for a job, he’s been nearly nonexistent during times we spend together because he’s constantly swiping left and right on girls. Tinder. Hinge. Raya. The League. My buddy moves from app to app to seemingly find “the one,” yet talks about how he disposes of the girls as if they’re an empty box waiting to be recycled.
Look, I can’t blame him. I, too, like other guys, went with this mentality. Problem is, there was something that left me feeling down more than excited about being on those apps. At first, I thought it was just me getting a little bit older and that the 20-somethings I used to match with just weren’t interested. But, as I racked up match after match with those same 20-something girls, I still found a void. What was it? My confidence was shot.
One might think that matching with girls on online dating apps is great, as they leave people with options and allow them to “window shop” from girl to girl. And, that should help with your confidence, right? In my case, it wasn’t, and I wanted to find the reason why that was.
So I poked around to a few different websites to see what I could find, hoping to get the answer about how (and why) online dating apps might be doing more harm than good when it comes to building confidence. Here’s some of what I found.
Are online dating apps making people more depressed?
Sure, online dating apps might seem like the easy way to meet girls — which is true — but that doesn’t mean people always do. Of course you’ll match with people and, hopefully, will be happy with who they are. But, in some cases, when a guy doesn’t get the matches he wants, self-doubt can creep into his mind and leave him feeling down.
In fact, according to research, people who use online dating apps have shown an increase in depression, per CNN, with the article saying that things like rejection are real no matter if it’s face to face or online. And, per a study that talked to 1,300 (mostly) college-age students about their Tinder use, body image and self-esteem, men and women who used the online dating app reported less satisfaction with their bodies and looks than non-users.
Online dating apps are more like a game than real life
Online dating apps aren’t what they first appear to be. One day, you sign up to swipe away and waste time, and, before you know it, you’re copy/pasting the same message to a bunch of different girls hoping some of them respond. Does this seem like a real good way to actually meet a partner? Probably not.
Whether you’re a guy or a girl, online dating apps allow people to promote themselves through pictures and information, with a lot of users embellishing to make themselves feel better. This might explain why, when you meet up with a girl you met with on an online dating app, she might not be as well put together as she presents herself online. It might also explain why, when you match with a girl and chat all night long, neither one of you ever follows up in the days after — and it’s because you’ve both already been flooded with new options to swipe on and matches to talk with.
Not everyone on online dating is who they claim to be
Along the same lines as the above, as we’re all aware of, online dating apps is a hub for people to have fake profiles, with people not actually being the person they first claim. Whether that means fake pictures and a fictional profile, or, as mentioned earlier, an embellished opinion about themselves, online dating apps can be tricky to know what’s real and what’s not.
We’re not saying all pretty girls you match with should be looked at as bots, but we are saying that you should proceed with caution no matter who you match with. That’s because a study of over 1,000 online daters from the United States and United Kingdom found that 53 percent of American participants admitted to having lied in their online dating profile. The data found that women are more common to do it than men, with the most common dishonesties being about looks, with 20 percent of the girls posting pics of their younger selves.
The study also showed that men did lie, though, with 40 percent of men indicating that they fibbed about their financial situation, specifically claiming they had a better paying job. So, as we said earlier, proceed with caution when using online dating apps, because a book can’t always be judged by its cover.
Will you ever be satisfied when using online dating apps all the time?
This is one of the questions that I found asking myself while I was on online dating apps years ago. That’s because it seemed like, just when I matched with someone and met up with them, I decided that there had to be someone better out there on the Internet that I could get. And, once I slept with a girl, it was game over, because I had already achieved what I was looking for.
Whether by pure coincidence or something else, it seems like research backs me up on this.
According to research conducted at Michigan State University, relationships that start out online are 28 percent more likely to break down in their first year than relationships where couples met face-to-face. And it gets worse. Couples who met online are nearly three times as likely to get divorced as couples that met face-to-face. That’s telling, because, like myself, if you’ve convinced yourself that something better is out there, even if you get off online dating apps, you may not change your wandering eyes.