Swipe left for dating apps?

Are Tinder and Grindr actually good for you?

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Match made in heaven or hell: would you swipe left for dating apps?

By Daniel J. McLaughlin

Not so long ago, online dating was an embarrassing secret, with partners trying to hide how they meet. Today, many singletons are swiping on Tinder, matching on OKCupid, or messaging on Grindr.

However, dating apps could affect your happiness and self-esteem, with the focus on appearance on appearance and social comparisons.

But it has having a positive impact in the LGBT community, leading to more diversity in their dating lives.

The Claim

The BBC explores whether 'swipe left' dating apps are bad for your mental health, looking at whether they can contribute to many people's unhappiness and low self-esteem.

A study by the University of North Texas in 2016 found that male Tinder users had lower levels of satisfaction with their faces and bodies. They also reported lower levels of self worth than those not using the dating app.

Trent Petrie, professor of psychology at the university, said: "With a focus on appearance and social comparisons, individuals can become overly sensitised to how they look and appear to others and ultimately begin to believe that they fall short of what is expected of them in terms of appearance and attractiveness.

"We would expect them to report higher levels of distress, such as sadness and depression, and feel more pressures to be attractive and thin."

They also report on a poll of 200,000 iPhone users by non-profit organisation Time Well Spent. It found that dating app Grindr topped a list of apps that made people feel most unhappy - 77 per cent of users admitted that it made them feel miserable. Tinder came in ninth place.

The Counterclaim

However, a new survey has found that 80 percent of LGBT people believe dating apps have benefited their community in a positive way, Pink News reports.

The survey from Tinder, released to mark the 50th anniversary of Pride, also revealed that under half of LGBT Britons polled (46 per cent) said it had provided more diversity in people they could date.

Over a third (36 per cent) said it had provided them with the opportunity to date more people of other races and cultures.

The Facts

According to research from eHarmony, from the year 2031 it will be more likely that you will meet a partner online than offline.

They predict that over half of relationships will have started on the web - 38 per cent will be via online dating, and 12 per cent through other types of website.

By 2040, 70 per cent of relationships will have started via online dating or online communication.

There are 57 million Tinder users around the world - it is available in 190 countries and 40 languages. The dating app has 1.6 billion swipes per day, with users going on one million dates per week.

Grindr, the gay dating app, has 27 million users worldwide - 3.8 million of whom use it every day.

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