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Online Dating May Impact Mental Health

In today’s day and age, online dating has become the norm. And why shouldn’t it be? Finding new ways to find love and support is certainly something society should welcome. But it should be noted that certain negative trends have been associated with digital dating too, particularly when it comes to mental health and self-esteem.

Let’s face it, dating in itself can be difficult for one’s ego. There is always that fear of rejection, the potential love games that come into play and the anxieties of trying impress a new mate. But could romance sites and apps be making those experiences even worse? That is what a new study provided by The American Psychological Association is saying.

Using 2016 info that polled 1,044 women and 273 men, researchers found that online daters can often experience anguish and low self worth. Certain specific data pointed to the popular app Tinder.

“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,” study co-author Jessica Strübel, PhD told the site. “Tinder users reported having lower levels of satisfaction with their faces and bodies and having lower levels of self-worth than the men and women who did not use Tinder.”

Women were the primary focus of the research, but the results most certainly carried over to men. Being rejected by a suitor online was also shown to lead to deep anguish. Plus, negative trolling comments and the general fast-paced denials that can happen in these scenarios makes the situation even worse. And let’s keep in mind that an app like Tinder is accessed by over 50 million active users.

The other noteworthy component to come out of the study was the link between dating apps and tech addiction. This too can have a serious impact on mental health; leading to isolation, lost work and problems on the homefront. CNN Health went on to add a stat that claimed that 15% of the singles on admitted to being dependent on their devices.

And this type of behavior can have serious repercussions. “People who self-described as having really addictive-style behaviors toward the Internet and cellphones scored much higher on depression and anxiety scales,” psychology professor Alejandro Lleras told CNN.

These are all important factors to keep in mind, especially if you find yourself continually drawn to web devices. If any of these symptoms sound or feel familiar to you, reach out and let us know how we can help.

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