Looking for a partner stuffed with self-confidence and not riddled with body image issues? You might want to swipe left on your Tinder habit.
A study by the University of North Texas has found that users of the dating app are more likely to feel lower levels of psychosocial well-being and body satisfaction than those who don't use it, causing many to shrug and make noises along the lines of "Well, duh?"
"People are living in a surreal world, creating these unattainable ideals and expectations that no one can meet," lead author of the study Jessica Strübel told the annual conference of the American Psychological Association. "It’s creating a 24/7 constant need for impression and appearance management."
Some 1,317 university students took part in the study (though only 70 women and 32 men claimed to use Tinder, so take the rest of this with a pinch of sceptical salt). All participants were asked to complete questions on their satisfaction, self-esteem, internalisation of appearance images (us neither), social comparison and self-objectification.
Of those who used Tinder, many reported having lower levels of satisfaction with their faces and bodies, coupled with experiencing higher levels of "body shame". Male Tinder users reported the lowest levels of self-esteem across the entire study of both Tinder and non-Tinder users.
"The negative effects that women have been experiencing pretty consistently for 40, 50 years, men might be now experiencing," said co-author Trent Petrie.
What's not clear is the exact relationship between Tinder and the related body issues: does the app reinforce these issues? Does it create them in the first place? Or are people with such issues just more likely to gravitate toward an app?
Our advice: find someone who loves you as much as a Netflix subscription, and you'll be fine.