Photo: Hugh Han

Could Dating Apps Be Ruining Your Self Confidence?

All in the swipe.


Whether we were looking for love, company for Saturday nights or a quick get-in-get-out, the majority of us have most likely had Tinder or other dating apps downloaded on our phones. 

Dating apps are the new age. The convenient trend for finding a partner has taken the world by storm. But how much of this contributes to people’s unhappiness and low self-esteem? How much of this swipe right, swipe left is doing more harm than good?

We found out. 

The majority of us can relate to downloading a dating app after our previous relationship ended. Seeking a distraction, or validation, we turn to a quick fix and start swiping. But the incessant swiping and the stream of mindless small-talk conversations soon fizzle out and we’re left feeling dejected. 

We confidently put our foot in the dating app world, without realizing the vast means people use it for. It’s impossible to distinguish between those who are using it for passing time to boost their ego, and those who are actually looking for something serious. It fuels this idea that humans are disposable and we don't have to put that much effort into it because it‘s only a dating app. People are quick to forget that its a real person sitting on the other side of their phone screen. 

Research shows the average person spends 10 hours a week swiping. That number might surprise you, but if you think about it - most of us open apps without even thinking about it. On average, we spend about 9 minutes each time, and open the app 10 times per day. That‘s a lot of time we’re all investing without any positive return.

Dating apps have led to body confidence lost since we are constantly reminded of our other competitors. The convenient swipe for a new candidate is all too easy right at the tips of our fingers.

We‘re only ‘connected’ through a mutual approval of our appearance and a short, witty bio of who we are. But how many of us even read the bio? It’s all attraction based which leads to major insecurity and anxiety.

On top of this, we visualize and fixate how this person may be based solely on their top 5 chosen photos. We formulate expectations and ideas which end up being a disappointment, because in fact, we know nothing about the strangers behind the photographs. If the swiping does turn into a first date, in most cases it turns out the opposite way we imagined. 

Trent Petrie, professor of psychology at the University of North Texas says: "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. 
"We would expect them to report higher levels of distress, such as sadness and depression, and feel more pressures to be attractive and thin." It is believed to build up the idea that you are not worthy based on your appearance only. It is de-personalized and has no soul. 

Should we take it from the scientist and ditch the dating apps and meet people the vintage way? Saying hello in person rather than through a screen (sounds scary doesn't it?). But what if we could surprised ourselves by taking this leap. This could be the self confidence boost we need rather than the quick swipe for validation. 

Perhaps true love takes effort, not just a casual swipe.


Next up, I quit ghosting and this is what happened.