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Why Tinder could be messing with your confidence

tinder body image self esteem
Photo: KaboomPics/Pexels

You swipe right, you swipe left—but as you do so, are you also taking a swipe at your self-confidence?

Yes, according to a new study conducted by the University of North Texas.

In the study, 1,300 young men and women were asked questions related to their body image and self-esteem. The findings? Tinder users have higher levels of shame and dissatisfaction.

“Tinder users, in comparison to the men and women who did not engage in any Tinder activities, reported being more likely to internalize societal ideals about appearance and attractiveness and to make more comparisons to others to determine their level of physical attractiveness,” the authors of the study write.

“Tinder also may serve to make individuals more conscious about their bodies and appearance, and lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and general psychological distress”

Although this finding is new, it’s not that surprising: On a dating app like Tinder, “matches” occur when you like someone and they like you, often because of appearance. (Be honest: Do you ever really read people’s profiles before you swipe?) You present yourself—selfies and all—so that others can literally judge you on your looks.

It’s basically the definition of being objectified—which doesn’t lead to empowerment vibes. (Right, Obama?) According to the study, “Tinder also may serve to make individuals more conscious about their bodies and appearance, and lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and general psychological distress.” Not only that, but disordered eating could be a consequence of constantly thinking about how others view your appearance, says the study.

So while Tinder and other online dating apps are helpful when it comes to finding those fish in the sea, maybe pair your next swiping session with a self-love meditation—and remember to not take things too personally.

Looking for someone who can literally keep up with you? It might be time to try a fitness-based dating app instead. Either way, be sure to look for this one super important trait in a partner.