Online Dating Can Lower Your Self-Esteem And Increase Depression

There is no denying the fact that dating app use is on the rise. If you found your partner before they became uber popular then you might not be as familiar - but they are definitely here to stay. If you're single, then you are surely familiar with the whole swiping left and right method to find your potential mate. What did we do before smartphones? We're not really sure, but dating apps are truly the modern day version of a singles bar. According to some new data though, it's becoming very clear that online dating can lower your self-esteem and increase depression.

While these online dating services and dating apps have totally saved singles from awkward moments at the bar on the weekends, they are creating a whole slew of new issues that many people are beginning to suffer from. And the thing is: with rapid growth, it doesn't look like this scene is going to be changing anytime soon. According to Match.com, they have more than 7 million paid users and Tinder reports that they receive 1.6 billion swipes per day. Ya, those are some huge numbers.

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With so many people seemingly looking to find the one, it doesn't seem like being logged into all these devices is making anyone any happier. So why is everyone's self-esteem dropping and depression rates of those using these apps increasing? It's simple: rejection happens online, too, and probably happens even more frequently online than in real life because it's easier.

According to a 2011 study, by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, "the neural overlap between social rejection and physical pain is more extensive than current findings suggest. Specifically, we propose that experiences of social rejection, when elicited powerfully enough, recruit brain regions involved in both the affective and sensory components of physical pain."

online dating
Credit: iStock / BlackbourneA

Then, these feelings of rejection turn into self-esteem issues because we're wondering why we were rejected and what we can do to change this. It's a continuous cycle of bad vibes. Based on this data, there is a definite connection between mental health and the use of dating apps on a regular basis.

While these are new findings and need to be looked into further, with the age of tech addiction, it's important to stop and think about the greater cost of convenience versus your well being. If you need to step away from these devices then don't hesitate to do so.

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