People using Tinder have more negative body perceptions, new research finds.
On top of worse perceptions of their body, men using Tinder also have lower self-esteem.
Tinder is a dating app with 50 million users where you swipe left or right to like or reject matches.
The very nature of Tinder — which focuses on looks and quantity of people — could be depersonalising and make people feel disposable.
Dr Jessica Strübel, one of the study’s author, 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.”
For the research 1,317 people were asked about their satisfaction with their bodies along with Tinder use and other psychological constructs.
Dr Strübel said:
“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 nature of the study means we can’t say that Tinder is causing lower self-esteem in men and body dissatisfaction in both sexes.
It could be that people with lower self-esteem feel more drawn to these apps.
Still, the study does highlight potential problems in the way men see their bodies.
Dr Strübel 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.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association in Denver, Colorado.