Why hire a matchmaker if there are dating apps & websites?
Online dating has allowed us to connect with people from different parts of the city or even the world, making dating apps seem easy and entertaining.
But let's talk about the serious subject of "online dating", shall we?
At first, it seemed online dating apps gave us the illusion of having unlimited access to people, but soon each profile blended into the next. Before you knew it, the reality of having a fulfilling relationship seemed further from the truth. With each swipe, we become insensitive to each profile we come face to face with, and after a few clicks, we are uninterested and ready to move on to the next futile attempt.
According to recent studies, online users are often faced with the disappointment of rejection and a not-so-new phenomenon known as ghosting.
When you are having a bad day, everything seems to keep getting worse, and it looks as if the negativity continues to feed more negativity; those unlucky in love often feel like that too.
Falling victim to harassment, threats, and stalking are just a few worst-case scenarios accompanying the search to find love. So often, the dating field is a battlefield for most. Even getting to know someone can become a challenge with unwarranted fake profiles, misrepresenting photos from the past, and vastly editing images to misconstrue the truth. And the worst offenders; are the cheating married lurkers who ruin relationships for everyone.
At The Club Five, we are eager to study and question how online dating affects the human brain. Statistics show that being ghosted or rejected by a stranger online “stimulates the same part of the brain that processes physical pain,” according to a 2011 study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This infers that "social rejection and physical pain are similar not only in that they are both distressing, but they also share a common representation in somatosensory brain systems". This is because, where we were rejected once in a social setting, online dating has given users multiple rejections, further desensitising people to feel detached and obstructing them from forming healthy intimate relationships. (Source: Juliet Marateck, CNN. “Online dating lowers self-esteem and increases depression, studies say”, 2018).
It has also been reported that “people who are on Tinder after a while may begin to feel depersonalised and disposable in their social interactions, develop heightened awareness (and criticism) of their looks and bodies and believe that there is always something better around the corner, or rather with the next swipe of their screen, even while questioning their worth" (Ethan Krossa, Marc G. Berman, Walter Mischel, Edward E. Smith, and Tor D. Wager, Study: “Social rejection shares somatosensory representations with physical pain”, 2011).
Also, online dating users scored much higher on depression and anxiety scales than non-online dating counterparts. (Study from 2016 from the University of Illinois “Study links mobile device addiction to depression and anxiety”)
The 2019 Survey from the U.S. states in “The Virtues and Downsides of Online Dating” that 57% of women under the age of 34 who have used online dating websites or apps have received unwarranted sexually explicit messages or images from the opposite gender. In contrast, the statistics for men under 34 were 28%.
Younger female users are also twice as likely as male users (44% vs 23%) to be called offensive names or threatened physically (19% vs 9%). It is evident from these statistics that women face increasing concern regarding their safety whilst online dating to avoid becoming a target of this type of digital abuse. Although, male users may also fall victim to virtual sexual harassment and threats of physical violence. (M. Anderson, E. Vogels “Young women often face sexual harassment online – including on dating sites and apps”, 2020)
According to Psychology Today, women struggle to find a partner looking for a severe committed relationship, as men are often interested in short-term pleasure and casual hookups that require little to no emotional involvement.
Interestingly, the FBI has reported significant financial losses suffered by victims of "romance fraud" (www.fbi.gov). According to the Better Business Bureau, “Victims in the US and Canada have reported losing nearly $1 billion over the last three years – and BBB suspects this is only the tip of the iceberg. Because most people do not file complaints with BBB or law enforcement” about such matters. (Better Business Bureau, “Online Romance Scams”, 2018) “One expert estimates that there may be 25,000 fraudsters interacting online with victims at any one time. One company that screens profiles for dating companies say that 500,000 of the 3.5 million profiles it scans monthly are bogus. BBB estimates that more than a million victims in the U.S. alone.” Romance scam victims may be male or female, young or old, straight or gay. (Better Business Bureau, “Online Romance Scams”, 2018)
The Statistic Brain Research Institute reported in 2018 that 10% of sex offenders in the United States use online dating apps and websites to meet people (Online Dating Industry Report 2018). According to Pew Search Center’s 2019 survey, 39% of men and 53% of women think dating apps and sites are not a safe way to meet people online. (Survey 2019, “The Virtues and Downsides of Online Dating”)
With all the potholes to avoid, looking for a date can quickly start feeling like a full-time job. Online dating users face an information overload that requires them to browse mundane-looking user profiles. Many hours, days and weeks are wasted sifting through the fake profile and romance frauds before success strikes. Consumer Reports Survey (2017) found online dating is highly frustrating and time-consuming.
According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, men lie most about Age, Height and Income, and women lie most about Physical Build, Weight and Age. (Statistic Brain, 2018, Online Dating Industry Report).
According to Pew Research Center, in 2015, 31% of online dating users agreed that online dating keeps people from settling down because they always have more date options than others.
According to a study on Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, couples who met their partners online were more likely to be involved in dating relationships rather than get married than those who met offline. Furthermore, the breakup rates for both those couples who met online were found to be higher than that of couples who met offline. The study claims that couples who meet on dating sites are less likely to get married because they get a lot of online traction (A. Paul, “Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking”, 2014; M. Danko, 11 Results from Studies about online dating, 2014).