Dating apps: what does love have to do with it?
Man and woman
Fifteen years ago, it was believed that dating applications were created for losers. The idea of looking for a partner on the Internet in the minds of people was closely related to the search for an ad in a newspaper. But with the development of smartphones and GPS technology, online dating has ceased to be something unusual and indecent and has turned into an industry that brings millions.
Love is like a game
Your phone can become a round-the-clock meeting place – just remember to watch Tinder every free minute. That is why thirty-year-old users spend about ten hours a week in dating apps, and nearly a third of relationships start online.
But the unexpected success of such applications has created the problem of gambling. Having established relationships through Tinder and its analogues, users feel as if they are playing an exciting game. The reason is the bright interface and sound design. The creators of applications specifically sought a similar effect – to turn dates into a game. And games often cause great addiction when a person returns to the application again and again to experience pleasure. Users begin to feel a constant connection with their “pocket matchmaker.” Players can be anyone, everyone’s task is to show others the perfect version of themselves.
When developing dating applications, knowledge about the neurochemical mechanisms of the brain is used. During the game, endorphins, natural painkillers, enter the bloodstream. They reduce anxiety or may even cause intoxication.
Studies show that only 10% of online matches end up offline
The rewards and incentives given by applications and games to regular users are needed in order to increase the level of serotonin, which is responsible for the feeling of happiness. And the amount of happiness is directly related to the level of popularity of the product. In addition, dopamine is produced during the game, which gives a feeling of satisfaction while a person is playing. But as soon as he postpones the smartphone, the dopamine level drops, which forces the user to reach for the gadget again. Promotions and rewards in dating apps are potential partners that we like.
We are chosen by another user, we select him, which means that we are attractive and want to meet with us. This pleasant feeling makes people return to the app. This is how the reinforcement mechanism works. Even users who do not enjoy using such applications often do not delete the profile and continue to go for small “rewards” in order to maintain their self-esteem. Even if we coincided with the other just once, hopes for a romantic relationship provide motivation to log into the app again and again and keep looking.
Endless Search Trap
Research shows that only 10% of online matches end up offline. Users often experience dating difficulties in reality, which is not surprising. Such applications only benefit from the fact that for months people flip through other people’s profiles and correspond with potential candidates. Do not neglect the “lie factor”: according to research, 81% of online dating is connected with deception (users distort information about their height, weight and age).
Unfortunately, all this allows people to be sure that men use applications to find “one-time” sex, and women – to dine at someone else’s expense. Applications offer users an endless list of possibilities, making you think that you can always find a better partner than the one with whom they already meet.
However, other studies dispel these fears. Psychologist Elizabeth Timmermans began to study Tinder several years ago to highlight the main reasons why people start using dating apps, and found that thanks to them, users didn’t have sex with each other more often.
Millennials, despite being addicted to online dating, have far fewer sexual partners than the older generation. Timmermans concludes that sex is not even one of the top three reasons why people use Tinder.
Most go there to satisfy their curiosity, to cheer themselves up in difficult times, or to amuse their vanity. So, if the use of the application has not yet led to real acquaintances, do not worry: most likely, you just do not need it.
Game overtones and application accessibility make it difficult to find your true love.
However, you can still improve your profile. Here’s how to do it.
- Upload photos. The more there are, the more users will be interested in your profile (popularity jumps by about 35%).
- Make sure that at least in some photos you are looking at the camera. Studies have shown that a direct look is more attractive than a look to the side.
- Smile You may think that you are going to be serious, but the truth is that there is nothing more attractive than a sincere smile.
Most likely, we, users, will spend more and more time in applications, without having serious relationships in real life. Take it for granted that gaming subtext and accessibility to apps prevent you from finding your true love in this way.