Tinder’s Effect: Negative or Positive?

Tinder is a popular dating app that many use either to find someone they would like to date or just a friend to hang out with. Yes, Tinder may help a person find a significant other or help someone who is lonely to find a friend but with this Tinder also has effects on the user’s behavior, psychological thoughts, and society as a whole.

Let me start off with Tinder and its effect on people’s psychological thoughts. TIME magazine’s article, “Tinder Users Have Lower Self-Esteem: Study,” talks about a study and how Tinder creates people to have negative views about themselves. This study consisted of roughly 1,300 people, whom most were college kids. They were given questionnaires and self-reports with questions that hinted at their thoughts on themselves. The last question they were asked in the study was if they use Tinder. The result of this study was that people who used Tinder answered the questions and self-reports negatively about themselves more so than the people who did not use Tinder did. (Oaklander 2016) The aspect of swiping left or right makes people more self-conscious and when they are skipped over or ignored they feel a sense of negative self worth bringing down their self-esteem. Another study done in “Mobile Dating in the Digital Age: Computer-Mediated Communication and Relationship Building on Tinder,” asked participants to answer questions as to why they use Tinder. The study determined that users do not swipe right in order to help boost their self esteem but are rather picky and only swipe right to people they really want to talk to. (James 2015) The person on the other end of it, who is not picked to match with the person, then feels bad about themselves thinking their is something wrong with them when in reality it is just the other user’s need for their exact criteria they are looking for. This shows the effect on Tinder on people’s psychological state to be negative.

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Tinder also has an effect on behavior. Humans like positive reinforcement and if something is offered at the end of a challenge or task they are more likely to complete it. This is the idea behind Tinder and its effect on user’s behavior. People spend more and more time on Tinder waiting to get the “it’s a match!” to pop up. In the article “Love Me Tinder: A Psychological Perspective on Swiping” the author Hannah Schacter discusses human behavior due to Tinder. Hannah Schacter speaks about how Tinder encourages users to behave “by periodic rewards in the form of matches.” (Schechter 2015) This is saying that because of Tinder people keep trying and trying until they reach their goal, making Tinder an addiction in a way to people. This goal to them has to be met and with they trying to gain the incentive it could take a long time forcing them to behave with obsession.

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A lasting impression Tinder has left is on society itself. It has impacted it in more negative terms than positive. A New York Times article, “Tinder is Tearing Society Apart,” written by Naomi Schaefer Riley gets into Tinder and its impact on society. This article goes into detail and discusses that due to Tinder and it’s spark of a “dating apocalypse” men and women’s opinions on each other have become more negative and not good. It also speaks about how the marriage rate is declining due to dating apps like Tinder. Tinder and other dating apps are have said to be creating a scene where people serial date and never seem to settle down. They would rather date a bunch of people rather than catch feelings. This is creating society to be less open and more closed off. This article quotes, “These apps have brought the men’s “game” to a new level. First of all, they never have to leave their apartments, let alone spend money on a date. Now it’s just messages like “Send me nudes.” Or “I’m looking for something quick in the next 10 or 20 minutes.” (Riley 2015) This is depicting that Tinder is ruining society’s perspectives on females, males, and settling down. It is creating a detached environment for us to live in.

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Tinder may be a very popular app with millions of users but it isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. It is causing people to feel low self-esteem, creating an obsession, and overall creating a society of detachment. Looking at many articles one positive effect Tinder has had on people is that it makes dating easier. But overall the negative effects outweigh the good giving Tinder a bad reputation.

References:

Oaklander, M. (2016, August 4). Tinder Users Have Lower Self-Esteem: Study. Retrieved November 16, 2016, from http://time.com/4439084/tinder-online-dating-self-esteem/

Schacter, H. (2015, April 16). Love Me Tinder: A Psychological Perspective on Swiping. Retrieved November 16, 2016, from http://www.psychologyinaction.org/2015/04/16/love-me-tinder-a-psychological-perspective-on-swiping/

Riley, N. S. (2015, August 16). Tinder is tearing society apart. Retrieved November 16, 2016, from http://nypost.com/2015/08/16/tinder-is-tearing-apart-society/

James, J. L. (2015). Mobile Dating in the Digital Age: Computer-Mediated Communication and Relationship Building on Tinder (Doctoral dissertation, Texas State University).

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