Interesting news from the digital dating desk this week: It appears that men who use the popular dating app Tinder report lower levels of self-esteem than those who don't use the app. Intrepid reporter Julian Huguet has the details in today's DNews dispatch.
First, the numbers: Researchers at the University of North Texas surveyed 1,044 women and 273 regarding issues around self-esteem, body image, and Tinder. Those numbers are a bit askew because the research team was primarily interested in women's experiences. As is so often the case with science, however, the interesting bits came from the places they weren't looking.
Only about 10 percent of respondents -- men and women -- used Tinder, but those that did reported lower levels of satisfaction with their faces and bodies than their non-swiping counterparts. Male users of Tinder also reported lower levels of self-esteem in general. The findings were presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.
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What are we to make of this? Well, the first and perhaps most significant finding, according to the researchers, is the suggestion that men are just as susceptible to self-esteem and body-image issues as women -- in the era of digital dating, anyway.
The study also prompted speculation on the technical mechanics of how Tinder works. While the app basically functions as an online dating tool, it also incorporates elements of gaming. To "win" at Tinder, you want more dates. And the best strategy to get more dates is to be more physically attractive.
Researchers also speculate that people with lower self-esteem in general may gravitate toward Tinder, and other online forums, for validation. In other words, it may be that Tinder doesn't lead to low self-esteem -- but rather that low self-esteem leads to Tinder.
Double Secret Bonus Trivia: Sociologists have only been studying online dating for a short time, obviously. But according to the numbers, married couples who met via online dating tend to have more success in marriage -- by just a smidge -- than those who meet up otherwise.
-- Glenn McDonald
American Psychological Association: Tinder: Swiping Self Esteem?
TIME: Tinder Users Have Lower Self-Esteem: Study
Metro UK: How I won at Tinder