PhotoTinder offers users a quick and easy way to meet new people, but it may come at a cost. A new study finds that Tinder users have lower levels of self-esteem and more body image issues.

Male users tend to be the most down on themselves as a result of being an active member of the popular dating app, but neither gender is impervious to the emotional toll of a left swipe.

“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,” wrote study author Jessica Strübel, PhD, of the University of North Texas.

Measuring body image

To come up with these findings, Strübel and her colleague Trent Petrie PhD, who is also a faculty member at the University of North Texas, asked 1,300 people to rate how they felt about themselves.

Questionnaires and self-reports revealed participants’ answers to such questions as, “How satisfied are you with your thighs?” and “How likely are you to make physical comparisons to others?”

Compared to non-users, the 10% of participants who were Tinder users reported less satisfaction with their looks. Interestingly, only men had lower levels of self-esteem.

Likelihood of rejection

In a world where women are usually hardest on themselves, why might it be that the dating app causes men’s confidence to plummet?

First, it may be the simple fact that more men than women use Tinder. Additionally, the researchers speculate that men may increase their own likelihood of rejection due to the fact that they are usually not as picky as women when it comes to swiping right (showing an interest).

Strübel and Petrie point out that the app itself may not be to blame for this phenomenon. Rather, it may just be that people with lower self-esteem are more likely to be found on dating apps such as Tinder.

The research was recently presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.


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