When computers were invented, a lot of people believed machines would never be able to calculate math or do other things as well as humans. When the internet was created, a lot of people thought it was just a fad and newspapers would always reign supreme. The same goes for online dating. When dating sites came onto the scene, a lot of people thought they would never be better than meeting someone through personal ads or friends, family, and coworkers. They just saw the negative.
While we’ll admit that there are some downsides to computers, the internet, and online dating, we believe the upsides definitely outnumber the downsides. Today we’re highlighting the negative effects people might experience if they’re dating online — followed by the numerous positive effects.
Negative Effects of Online Dating
Let’s get the bad news out of the way and tell you a little bit about some of online dating’s potential negative effects — from your dating preference changing to your confidence increasing or decreasing.
1. It Can Make You Picky
On my dating sites and apps, you’ll click a check mark or swipe right if you like someone, or you’ll click an X or swipe left if you don’t. What you’ll see of a potential match is usually their photo, age, name, and location. That’s really not a lot of information, and bases your choices more on appearance. Studies show that online dating can make people be picky, so one bad photo and you could get skipped.
When we’re on our laptops, iPads, or phones, we have a screen and miles between us and the person we’re swiping left on, so perhaps we’re more likely to make quick judgments. In person, though, with someone looking us in the eyes, we’d probably be more likely to give them the benefit of the doubt.
2. Your Self-Esteem Might Go Down (Or Get Too High)
According to the New York Post, people — particularly men — who use Tinder and dating platforms like it are more likely to experience lower self-esteem. Julia Bekker, a matchmaker in New York City, told the publication: “It can be very disappointing if you’re not matching with many people. My advice is not to look for a confidence boost from dating apps and [to] go into the online-dating world already knowing your worth.”
The research also shows that online dating could increase self-confidence, especially among women, who often receive more right swipes, likes, and messages than men. “I’ve always been confident, but when you use this tool and get 50 people wanting to see you, it can definitely be a confidence boost,” Taylor Costello told the New York Post.
The moral of the story is to not take online dating too seriously — you shouldn’t let one person swiping right or left on your photo determine how successful you are. More than 49 million people have tried online dating, so there are practically an endless number of fish in the sea.
3. You Could Become Obsessed With Swiping/Matching
As we mentioned earlier, swiping based on a photo and a couple of facts has sort of turned online and mobile dating into a game — it can be fun to make these quick judgments about people, right? His hair is too long — swipe left. Her eyes are blue instead of green — swipe left. He looks hot in a bathing suit — swipe right. She has perfect teeth — swipe right. These aren’t the things that great dates and relationships are made of.
It’s not unheard of for people to become obsessed with mindlessly swiping and/or voting yea or nay on matches. “The ease of remote dating, alongside personal boredom that’s likely present, provokes swiping left and right to be one’s desired activity for passing time,” said Slater Katz in an Elite Daily article.