Special to the Standard
Singles around the world are being overwhelmed with promises, from dating apps, that today might be the day you meet your “Tinderella” or your “Tinderfella”.
Are these apps actually helping us in our search for love and affection, or are they just satisfying our new found addiction for instant gratification?
If you’ve ever used a dating app, or any social platform, you’ll know how easy it can be to enter into a full-on vortex of non-stop swiping, only to look up from your phone and realize you have just wasted five hours of your life. Whether you’re looking for a quick “match”, to boost your ego, or something a little more long-term, these apps are designed to keep you wanting more.
Specifically, the designers of apps, such as Tinder, Bumble and Hinge, have created this habitual need within their users, of utmost importance; they have become wise to triggers which make it absolutely irresistible to pull away.
According to Psychology Today, “One of the key characteristics in habitual social media use is the unpredictability and randomness of what happens on these platforms.” Similar to social media accounts; dating apps provide users with unpredictable rewards, producing a rush of dopamine which urges us forward. These small hits of dopamine propel us into a cycle of repetitive activity; conditioning us to expect a possible reward, A.K.A the right swipe leading to the perfect “match.”
It’s no wonder, in a world where variety and novelty are becoming more and more abundant and finding someone new and exciting is literally at your fingertips, it’s not surprising so many people find it hard to look up from their screens.
Of course, it’s not all science and brain chemicals. Dating can be really intimidating and time consuming. Although, it can feel like we are getting an easy way out, by finding our soulmates with love at first swipe, we are losing instant human connection and access to important traits which can be easily hidden behind a screen.
It may feel easier to scroll through one too many heavily filtered images, but by simplifying a whole person down to five photos and 200 characters, we are completely missing out on key characteristics that could make finding “the one” much clearer.
Today, I challenge you, instead of checking yourself out and falling into the rabbit hole, take a minute to reflect and ask yourself whether this is really working for you. Maybe you feel like you’ve fallen too far and can no longer see the light of real-world dating? Well, today is your day. There is hope.
Firstly, look up. There’s a whole world full of wonderful people for you to meet. Secondly, turn off your notifications. That constant reminder is an external trigger you no longer need. Thirdly, if you enjoy the thrill of the chase but don’t want to be dominated by it, limit yourself to, for example, 10 swipes a day.
Finally, if all else fails and you are powerless to its temptations, delete your app. The love of your life might just be around the, actual, physical, corner.
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