Dating Apps And Mental Health- What's The Score?
With the popularity of dating apps soaring in recent years, and more and more people swiping their way to love on their smartphone, are there any negatives to using such methods to finding a partner?
Unfortunately, yes. There is currently a lot of stigma surrounding dating apps and mental health, with countless studies showing that online dating causes depression and that the regular use of dating apps can lead to developing low self-confidence and a lack of self-esteem.
As the number dating app users rise, so do the reports of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem symptoms.
The reason why this is happening is because of the nature in which these apps work. No longer does meeting someone involve the initial 'awkward stage' of slowly getting to know each other and having to navigate the tricky waters of attraction. With dating apps, it's as easy as a swipe.. left I like you, right I don't.
The main issue is that the swipes are based purely on looks and first impressions – Its not always easy to get your personality across in a few photos a tiny bio, and (if you're lucky enough to get a match) a handful of text messages.
How Apps Cause Anxiety.
Some people can brush off rejection without much thought, but for others, being brushed off without consideration can seriously knock the wind out of their sails.
Anxiety caused by dating apps is not uncommon; there are countless reports saying that users feel elevated levels of anxiety when using dating apps, and many express that the anxiety spills into other areas of their life as well.
Being rejected on the impersonal, almost game-like platforms of dating apps might not seem all that serious, but over time, being shown the cold shoulder can cause even the strongest minded people towards feelings of anxiety.
Online Dating And Self Esteem.
Self-esteem, body confidence, anxiety, and depression – they all go hand in hand, so if you're experiencing one, you are at a far higher risk of developing another.
Self-esteem is determined by how you perceive yourself; your self-worth. Often our self-esteem goes up when we're shown praise, are given compliments or are feeling particularly successful.
But it works the other way also, so if we are regularly mocked, ignored, or deemed unworthy, self-esteem will go down.
Having low self-esteem can significantly reduce positivity in individuals and is also a leading cause of male suicide.
A recent study showed that male Tinder users reported lower levels of self-esteem, body confidence, and valued themselves far less than men who didn't use the dating app.
How To Reduce Anxiety.
Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses, alongside depression and stress. This does not in any way make it any less serious; if anything, more the reason to spread awareness and help others to overcome the condition!
To reduce dating app related anxiety, the first thing to do is go straight ahead and press the uninstall button. Having a trigger on your mobile phone will only raise levels of anxiety throughout the day, so the best thing to do is to remove it.
The next is to address the root cause of worries, is it the rejection? Is it the short conversations that never seem to lead anywhere? Whatever it is that is causing you anxious feelings, addressing it is essential to move forward.
Most dating app related anxiety is rooted in self-esteem issues and a lack of self-confidence. By focusing on these issues first, you will usually see anxious feelings subside significantly.
Things to do to reduce anxiety by building self-esteem:
- Being positive and only speaking and thinking about yourself in a positive manner.
- Build on your strengths, for example, if you love to cook, throw some dinner parties!
- Listen and accept compliments that are paid to you. It can be easy to miss them sometimes.
- Write down your qualities and affirm your self-worth.