Does using Tinder give you lower self esteem and negative body image perceptions?
That’s what a new study presented at the annual American Psychological Association suggests, saying that use of the app could have a negative psychological impact on both male and female users.
The study’s researchers arrived at this conclusion by asking men and women about their perceptions of themselves, and comparing the answers of those who used Tinder, and those who didn’t.
The researchers, from University of North Texas, asked 1,044 women and 273 men questions about their use of Tinder as well as their body image, sociocultural factors, perceived objectification and psychological well-being.
Of these respondents, around 10% said they used the dating app.
The results showed that male and female users of Tinder reported less satisfaction with their bodies and looks compared to non-users.
Interestingly, however, only male Tinder users reported lower levels of self-esteem.
Co-author and University of North Texas PhD researcher Jessica StrÃ¼bel said: “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.
“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.”
The researchers also said some users may begin to feel “depersonalized and disposable” in social interactions, as well as developing heightened awareness of their looks and bodies.
And although the study was primarily aimed towards women, the authors found that men are just as affected by exploitation and low self-esteem as women, if not more.
StrÃ¼bel said: “Although current body image interventions primarily have been directed toward women, our findings suggest that men are equally and negatively affected by their involvement in social media.”
However despite the findings of the study, the authors did admit that these effects aren’t necessarily caused by the app, it could be just as likely that people with lower self-esteem are drawn more to these types of apps.
The study, called “Love Me Tinder: Objectification and Psychosocial Well-Being,” was authored by StrÃ¼bel and Trent Petrie, PhD, also of the University of North Texas.
Read more about it here.