How Dating Apps are Affecting Our Connection to Others
Meeting someone on a dating app or online used to be quite taboo. Today it’s the conventional way of doing it. The rise of dating apps has revolutionized the way people find and connect with potential partners. With the swipe of a finger, we browse thousands of potential partners and arrange dates with the tap of a button. But this new way of meeting people has come with some huge negative consequences for our psychological well-being.
Online dating has the power to impact your mood and your mental health. Dating app users can feel everything from isolation to loneliness to sadness. Not getting many matches or getting ghosted by those you have already matched with or met can lead to low self-esteem and feelings of unworthiness, or just prompt irritation at not knowing or understanding what has transpired. Another issue is the “shopping” mentality that dating apps encourage. The act of swiping and matching activates the dopamine reward system in your brain, training your brain to seek that gratification over and over again. Users can become overwhelmed with what some social scientists call “the paradox of choice”—having such an abundance of options that they ultimately feel unsatisfied with the choices they do make. Consumerism and consumption is also “at play” here. Since we have used our phones now for nearly a decade of shopping, purchasing and banking, there’s an unconscious behavior that shows up when swiping on people’s profiles and filtering out options to find the exact “product” or “brand” we are seeking. When we do this, we dehumanize others, turn them into products. How tall are they? What do they do? What religious or political tribe do they belong to? And we seldom spend any time getting to know the individual as a person, a unique individual with their own story and dreams.
This dynamic can make human interaction feel superficial and strained, short-circuit true connection, and keep us from investing in meaningful relationships. Society has always been somewhat superficial, but these apps have made it worse, including by giving users filters to augment their own images. We now put so many unrealistic barriers between us and others that we fail to do the most important thing, which is actually spend time with one another to get to know each other. And this doesn’t just lead to poor relationship behavior, it influences the entire way we interact with the world and those around us. Our employment, business relations, healthcare, and so much more are suffering due to this phenomenon.
Because online dating doesn’t require us to engage in as much genuine in-person communication, we start to lose that skill and dissociate ourselves from reality. We may match with dozens of strangers online but we don’t make the time to really meet people anymore. Before we had access to the entire world in the palm of our hand, we had to actually focus on what was in front of us, including other people. And that kind of real-world re-engagement is precisely what Wellvyl is designed to provide its members. We want to create a space for meaningful meetings and encounters. Where you can put your phone away and yet never feel alone. Where there is no anticipating what might happen next. Where you can interact with others and keep your basic humanity intact.
Online dating may have made you feel rejected, disposable, or even worthless. Wellvyl will help you recapture that sense of who you are, what you are worth, and what it feels like to have real companions, friends and lovers alongside you for that journey.