Although dating apps have now been around for more than a decade, the pandemic has changed things. But how? We find out.
Swipe right if you like someone and left if you don’t. Firstly, you judge someone only by their appearance, then start a conversation and then meeting face to face to decide if that person is for you or not. Simple as that.
Finding someone has never been easier and at the same time has never been more complicated. It is easy because of the options you may have on dating apps and yet complicated for the exact same reason.
Doubtless, Tinder is one of the most used dating apps. According to Tinder, 6.6million people globally use this dating app to find a partner. Tinder was created in 2012 and according to a study named Attached to dating apps: Attachment orientations and preferences for dating apps, Tinder is the most popular and frequently used dating app in the world.
Studies have shown that the majority of users have had sex with people they met on Tinder.
As stated by Julieta Strugo and Amy Muise in their study: Swiping for the right reasons: Approach and avoidance goals are associated with actual and perceived dating success on Tinder, 51 % of users on Tinder have had sex with an average of 1.57 partners from the app.
Even though Tinder is thought to be an app only for finding sexual partners, recent studies are telling that Tinder users are not using this app only for just this purpose.
Tinder also helps to develop a romantic relationship. According to Strugo and Muise, between 17% and 33% have had a romantic relationship with someone they met on Tinder. The younger generation uses Tinder also to find friends and to communicate with people.
But how does Tinder affect self-esteem? What should people be aware of while using dating apps? Are dating apps destroying romance?
These and more question will be explored with Jacqueline Sperling, who has a PhD, Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School and is the Director of Training and Research at the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program,.
Dating Apps and Safety
In this exclusive interview with Youth Time Magazine, Sperling cited a study by Stubel and Petrie, where it was found that “males, in particular, experienced lower levels of self-esteem”.
Sperling suggests having doubts about who is behind the screen, meaning a first date should take place in a public space.
“Users might find it helpful to meet up in a public space first to verify a date’s identity and get to know the potential partner better.
“In addition, before a date even is scheduled, users have options in many apps to inform the app managers about any inappropriate and/or offensive messages received to help protect users.”
Having a lot of opportunities on dating apps can make a person not commit to one partner, but always looking for someone else.
“Although one may argue that dating apps facilitate opportunities to meet more people, the challenge is that the increase in number of options actually can interfere with commitment to relationships.
“Having more options can make it more difficult to make, stick with, and be satisfied with a decision and make users more likely to reject potential partners (Pronk & Denissen, 2019).”
“Have you ever been ghosted? (Had someone you’re dating suddenly cease all communication without explanation)” – this is the question that Plenty of Fish asked millennials in 2016.
80% of the young people, between the age of 18-33, answered with Yes. If you think you are the only one who’s been ghosted so are 80% of other users of dating apps.
Ghosting is referring to a phenomenon when, without explanation, a person stops communicating or ignores all the messages by a friend, partner, or someone else.
This term was coined in the early 2000s with the increasing use of social media and dating apps.
Even though you might have had only a few dates with someone from Tinder, according to Jacqueline Sperling, ghosting affects self-esteem and usually, people who got ghosted tend to blame themselves.
Users may start to wonder about all the potential reasons for the termination of the conversation.
“Research has found that more than one-third of those who have been ghosted end up blaming themselves for the conversation termination, and being ghosted can negatively impact one’s self-esteem and emotional well-being (Timmermans et al., 2020).
“A little direct communication can go a long way so that those on the other end of the conversation can learn and move forward,” says Sperling.
Tinder During Covid-19
Coronavirus has changed our lives on so many levels. Dating life changed a lot as well. People were not allowed to be outside therefore meeting someone new was almost impossible.
That’s why people started to use dating apps even more. Tinder has noticed behavioral changes in users.
According to a new report from Tinder from January 2020 till February 2021, conversations on this app were 32% longer than they had been before the pandemic.
Also during the pandemic, Tinder has broken a record – for the first time in March 2020, the number of swipes on Tinder was three billion in a single day.
Users also took care of their bios more. To keep their profiles fresh people updated their bios about 50% more than they used to do before the pandemic. Mostly their bios were related to COVID-19.
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. And that’s what Tinder did.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, Tinder made a change to the app. In July 2020, Tinder introduced video chat. According to their survey, about half of people on Tinder have had video chats during the pandemic.
Dating apps has connection at its core and here is how you can reconnect with those people.
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