The Sad Truth About Being A Human On Tinder

Photographed by Natalia Mantini.
We already know that online dating can be a not-so-friendly place, but it's not clear exactly how that's affecting us in the larger scheme of things. However, as new research suggests, Tinder probably isn't the place to go if you want to feel better about yourself. For the study, presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, the researchers surveyed 1,317 people between the ages of 18 and 34. All participants were asked about their use of dating apps and the way they feel about their bodies. Of those participants, only 102 people (70 of them women) actually reported using Tinder. And results showed that those who were on the dating app reported having lower self-esteem, feeling more ashamed of their bodies, comparing themselves to others more frequently, and internalizing society's beauty standards more fully. What was particularly surprising, though, was that that effect had nothing to do with gender — women and men reported similarly negative effects associated with Tinder. "Although current body image interventions primarily have been directed toward women," Jessica Strubel, Phd, said in a press release, "our findings suggest that men are equally and negatively affected by their involvement in social media." Indeed, as we've written before, men and women have similar body image struggles. However, we only know that these negative effects are associated with using Tinder. We don't know that Tinder actually causes them. It's entirely possible that those who choose to use Tinder are starting out with lower levels of self-esteem, and being on the app simply reinforces those feelings. Either way, though, this suggests that, if you're not feeling great about what's happening online, you shouldn't hesitate to hang with the people who love and appreciate you IRL instead.

More from Sex & Relationships

R29 Original Series