One of the most popular dating apps, Tinder, has more than 75 million active users as of now. It is used worldwide by individuals. And nowadays, one can find a website for dating in New York or a Filipino dating app in the Philippines or any other part of the world. This tells how much people nowadays are into online dating.
Although online dating can be really convenient and allows you to meet people from different backgrounds, it can also be addicting, hinder real human connection, and lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
In this article, we’ll talk in detail about how dating apps are changing our psychology so that you can use them the right way.
What do dating apps do to your mental health and psychology?
Like social media can influence your mood, mental health, and mindset, dating apps can have the same impact. Therefore, it’s essential to be aware of how they impact your brain.
They can be addicting
According to several researchers, online dating app users like Tinder and Bumble become addicted to them and spend around 55 minutes on these apps.
55 minutes is just an average figure. Some people may spend more or less time using online dating apps, and of course, our brains can quickly adapt to the environments.
Therefore, what you have the most exposure to every day, will start having a great impact on your brain.
Your brain slowly starts to get used to the reward system as you receive a notification that you have matched with another profile.
This leads to the release of happy hormones like endorphins and dopamine and imitates the feeling of being “high” because you feel like you have been rewarded with something.
In order to experience the same feelings, people may keep using these apps over and over again without actually wanting to be in a real relationship.
They can lead to many ghosting experiences
Since there are a plethora of people on dating apps that you can match and connect with, you are actually never short of “options.” Moreover, you are simply communicating your interest online.
Hence, there’s always a risk of getting ghosted, and many online dating users have experienced this already, which can be a huge fail.
With so many options on your screen, your brain may start experiencing cognitive overload. In other words, you may become mentally exhausted, which leads to ghosting behaviour.
They can adversely affect skills for a romantic relationship
With dating apps, you communicate online with the other person, which can make you overlook that you’re talking to a human. All this means that you become less compassionate and empathetic over time.
The behaviours you naturally adopt from online dating can create a relationship skills gap, which means fewer dating opportunities. This can also contribute to individuals being single for a long time and feelings of loneliness.
They can facilitate feelings of low self-esteem
In addition to isolation and loneliness, dating app users may start developing lower self-esteem. Constantly being ghosted or not getting matched to their interest may develop these feelings.
They may start wondering if they are not good-looking enough and even if they are worth someone nice
Of course, not everyone experiences this, but some people may. In fact, many people have been married through dating apps. Knowing how online dating can impact your psychology will let you set boundaries and use the apps more responsibly.
Zuella Montemayor did her degree in psychology at the University of Toronto. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.