Tinder has taken the dating world by storm.
The latest stats state there are 50 million active users, while copycat apps like Happn, Bumble and OkCupid also continue to grow.
It’s easy to see why – these apps make it simpler than ever to browse potential partners and attempt to set up a date.
Yet, a new study suggests this convenience might be coming at a cost to our mental health.
The research, from the University of Texas, suggests that users of Tinder-style apps suffer from lower self-esteem and more anxiety about their appearance.
Researchers compared 100 Tinder users with 1,000 non-users, asking both groups to rate their satisfaction with several parts of their body. Those who regularly used the dating app were found to be far less satisfied, and more likely to compare themselves to others.
I‘m far from surprised at these findings. Despite meeting my last girlfriend on Tinder, I decided to delete all dating apps from my phone last year, and my self-esteem has skyrocketed.
The world of looks and money.
I don’t buy into the myth that hot women only want handsome or rich men. I’ve won over plenty of them without having money or model looks. However, if there’s one place this hypothesis exists, it’s online.
On Tinder, we make decisions based on a few pictures and a short bio. Many people make their mind up after the first photo.
Success or failure is based primarily on what you look like, and that’s not a healthy environment to spend your time.
It’s certainly not playing to my strengths. These women see my bald head and crow’s feet, but not my sense of humour or the confident way I speak to people.
While my pretty-boy mates would boast about their Tinder rampages, I’d be struggling to secure a match. Of course, this’ll affect your self-esteem.
Comparing yourself to others.
No matter how wealthy or jacked you are, comparing yourself to others will always feel crap.
There’ll always be some dude with more money, bigger biceps, bluer eyes etc. It’s impossible to win.
A bloke who (at least appears to be) better than you is always a few swipes of the finger away, which is a huge blow to the ego.
The benefits of offline dating.
The alternative is teaching yourself to become brilliant at talking to women. By quitting Tinder, I put more pressure on myself to speak to women in ‘real life’.
Today’s generation of 20-somethings have become so reliant on dating apps that this is becoming a lost art, especially outside of alcohol-fuelled environments.
By having the charisma to confidently chat up a woman wherever you meet her, you’ll stand out from the thousands of guys inside her smartphone.
The last woman I slept with was a tall slender ballet dancer. In the taxi home from the bar, I spotted she had 1,216 OkCupid notifications on her phone (now that’s a self-esteem boost).
What’s the difference between me and them? I had the balls to storm over and introduce myself. There’s no other way I would have stood out among that many dudes.
Making the most of my ‘me-time’.
Once you get good at meeting women in real life, it’s arguably more time-efficient.
Although Tinder is right there on your phone, it can be draining thinking of that perfect response, waiting hours for a reply, going through that endless back and forth without ever really feeling like you’re getting to know these women.
I now use that spare time to get more writing done, read uplifting books or squeeze in a workout. All activities that boost your mental state.
Maybe I’m missing out on the odd one-night stand without Tinder, or even a couple of girls I’d actually get along with.
All I know is I’ve never felt better about myself. The benefits of removing it from my phone far outweigh the pitfalls.