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Trent Petrie, professor of psychology at the University of North Texas seconds this, stating that, “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”.
Jessica Strübel Ph D, also of the University of North Texas, conducted a study alongside Petrie, in which, 1,044 women and 273 men, predominantly undergraduate students, were asked to complete questionnaires about their usage of Tinder, their body image, socio-cultural factors, perceived objectification, and psychological well-being.
The popular dating app, Bumble, has close to 40 million users worldwide and claims that it has led to 15,000 marriages.In fact, users of dating apps are expected to feel higher levels of distress, sadness, and depression, and feel greater pressure to be ‘attractive’ and thin.In support of this, Anita Chlipala, a licensed therapist and dating expert, confessed that she sees, “more anxiety and sometimes depression” develop in clients that use dating apps, stating that they experience lower levels of self-esteem, and question their self-worth, and develop insecurities, often building a mental wall around themselves to protect their emotions which have become more fragile with each time that they have been hurt.This is now normalised and regarded to be a healthy and lighthearted topic of conversation within a friendship group.
Alternatively, however heartwarming it may be to hear of our close friends romantic successes, research suggests that the world of online dating should be entered at caution and taken with a pinch of salt.
She continues that, “they create an atmosphere that psychotherapists would have previously regarded as pathological, and narcissistic”.