Do Dating Apps Undermine Our Ability

Two of the key focuses of my blog are Health/Wellness and Technology. Society is facing unprecedented challenges in the area of interpersonal relationships between the sexes. In large part it’s a combination of changed gender norms and the coming of technologies such as dating apps. The following contributed post is entitled, Do Dating Apps Undermine Our Ability.

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On the face of it, dating apps seem like a great idea. Everyone posts a short advert about themselves, along with a few pictures. Then they use it to reach out to like-minded, compatible people.

Pixabay – CC0 License

But when you delve into the psychology of it a little deeper, you soon realize that things aren’t as rosy as they sound.

In the past, people didn’t choose each other a la carte. Instead, romantic encounters were happenstance events. People met in all sorts of weird and unusual situations, and, importantly, it happened in real life.

Dating apps subvert the process of finding a lover. Daters get to compare each other like products in the grocery store, inspecting people and comparing them to each other. Apps have made the process of finding love more akin to shopping, and less like organic and real.

Data suggests that these apps are changing our behaviors. When we liked somebody in the past, we had to muster the courage to fire up a conversation with them. The price of engagement was the fear of rejection. You never knew whether the object of your desire would feel the same or even entertain a conversation with you.

Theoretically, the same is true of dating apps. But there’s a big difference between clicking a button that says “wave” and marching across a room and talking to a stranger. Apps mean that we’re now less invested in love than ever before.

The second problem is how apps turn dating into a marketplace. Sure, we’ve always had beautiful, intelligent, wealthy, and influential people who have their pick of the bunch. But never have we had a situation where you can compare two people so directly, like on a price comparison website, and choose the best deal for you.

Dating apps also have a fundamental business problem that works against their customers: successfully matching people is not in their interest. The moment you find love, you stop searching for a new partner and cancel your subscription. Agencies, therefore, continually send you emails, showing you all the juicy new people with whom you could have a romantic fling. It’s a constant temptation, and it distracts you from the primary object of your affections.

Dating apps are also dangerous. Some criminals have received 15 years in prison as a result of their actions. This risk is also making people more suspicious of other users, making it more challenging to get things off the ground. People are reluctant to meet up.

Perhaps the old way of doing things was better. Research now shows that relationships that start in-person are much more likely to survive than those that don’t. Furthermore, people who use dating apps are more likely to report mental health problems than those who don’t, perhaps because of the emotional brutality of the scene.

Whatever the case, it is unlikely dating apps will be going anywhere, anytime soon. The coronavirus lockdown means that these services are the only way that many people are going to be able to find love. All the usual venues are closed.

Author: anwaryusef

Anwar Y. Dunbar is a Regulatory Scientist. Being a naturally curious person, he is also a student of all things. He earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan and his Bachelor’s Degree in General Biology from Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU). Prior to starting the Big Words Blog Site, Anwar published and contributed to numerous research articles in competitive scientific journals reporting on his research from graduate school and postdoctoral years. After falling in love with writing, he contributed to the now defunct, and the Edvocate where he regularly wrote about: Education-related stories/topics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Financial Literacy; as well as conducted interviews with notable individuals such as actor and author Hill Harper. Having many influences, one of his most notable heroes is author, intellectual and speaker, Malcolm Gladwell, author of books including Outliers and David and Goliath. Anwar has his hands in many, many activities. In addition to writing, Anwar actively mentors youth, works to spread awareness of STEM careers, serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the David M. Brown Arlington Planetarium, serves as Treasurer for the JCSU Washington, DC Alumni Chapter, and is active in the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Ministry at the Alfred Street Baptist Church. He also tutors in the subjects of biology, chemistry and physics. Along with his multi-talented older brother Amahl Dunbar (designer of the Big Words logos, inventor and a plethora of other things), Anwar is a “Fanboy” and really enjoys Science-Fiction and Superhero movies including but not restricted to Captain America Civil War, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Prometheus. He is a proud native of Buffalo, NY.

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