New research published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships has considered the correlates of compulsive dating app use.
The study builds on pre-existing concepts relating to “problematic internet use” to examine the relationship between dating app addiction and factors like loneliness and social anxiety.
Researchers collected data from over 250 college students using an online questionnaire.
Some reported being unable to reduce the amount of time they spent on dating apps, while others said they had missed school or work to swipe.
Socially anxious respondents felt more comfortable using dating apps to socialise than they did meeting people out in the world. This did not necessarily lead to addiction, however.
When social anxiety interacted with loneliness, the authors found higher instances of addictive behaviours.
Lead author Kathryn Coduto said: “We had participants who said they were missing school or work, or getting in trouble in classes or at work because they kept checking the dating apps on their phones.
“(…) I’ve seen people who use dating apps compulsively. They take their phones out when they’re at dinner with friends or when they’re in groups. They really can’t stop swiping.”
She recommended that users set limits on the amount of time they spend on online dating services if they have trouble restricting their usage.
2016 Research in the Journal of Behavioural Addictions sought to develop a ‘Problematic Tinder Use Scale’.
Read more here.