Tinder, a dating app with a reported active user base of 50 million people, is supposed to bring people together, but instead seems to be bringing them down, finds a new study by University of North Texas researchers.
Users of the app have more negative perceptions of their looks and body image versus those who don't use Tinder. Male users in particular are also likely to experience lower self-esteem, the study, presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, suggests.
For the study, a group of 1,317 people, consisting mostly of college students, completed a survey that asked about their use of Tinder as well as body image, psychological well-being and more.
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Of those surveyed, only about 10 percent mentioned using Tinder, and that group was overall less satisfied with their appearance than those not using the dating app.
"We found that being actively involved with Tinder, regardless of the user's gender, was associated with body dissatisfaction, body shame, body monitoring, internalization of societal expectations of beauty, comparing oneself physically to others, and reliance on media for information on appearance and attractiveness," said co-author Jessica Strübel in a statement.
The reason behind why Tinder users seem to get down on themselves is likely tied to how the app works. Tinder users are presented with a series of individual profiles, containing a collection of photos and a short biography. Users swipe right for favorable profiles and left for unfavorable ones. When two users swipe right on each other's profile, they are matched and can begin talking to one another.
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