It turns out that the endless swiping for validation on dating app Tinder is not good for self-esteem, and a new study found evidence that it takes a toll on men in particular.
Presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association this week, the new research from University of North Texas found that college-age men who use Tinder have lower self-esteem than college-age men who do not. Researchers in the study characterized the app as a "reputed 'hook-up' site" where "men and women are simply objects to be viewed, rated, used, and disposed of in the Tinder universe."
The study examined the psychological well-being of 70 women and 32 men who use Tinder and found men in the group were much more emotionally distressed than women. They said a potential explanation for this figure is that men swipe right 46 percent of the time whereas women are more picky, swiping right only 14 percent of the time.
"The shame and hurt men experience as a result of rejection and “ghosting” (e.g., when a potential romantic contact just ceases communication, such as not returning texts) is a common discussion theme on other social media platforms, such as Reddit," the study said. "Even for those men with generally high levels of esteem, the current Tinder system does not appear to work in their favor and may result in a diminished sense of self after repeated use."
Although the findings seem logical, the sample size of only around 100 people is pretty low for a study. In a statement given to the Daily Dot, Tinder’s in-house sociologist and relationship expert Jess Carbino questioned the study's methodology and dismissed its findings.
"Given the small sample size and unrepresentative nature of the sample, no actual findings can be established from an empirical perspective," Carbino said. "Moreover, any serious social scientist would strongly question and doubt the validity of their results."
Even if the study is not the most comprehensive, it is one of the first that studies how the app impacts men and women's psychological functioning. The researchers say more work needs to be done on more representative populations to get a better picture of short-term and long-term effects of the app on individuals.