A new study suggests people should swipe left on dating apps.
Research published in the journal Telematics and Informatics found that dating apps could do more harm than good in people’s search for love.
The findings from the University of Vienna showed that more usage of dating apps and exposure to a superfluous amount of profiles can lead to feelings of self-doubt that excessive swiping is “compulsive behavior.”
“Excessive swiping seems by and large detrimental,” they concluded.
Researchers surveyed 464 people between the ages of 16 and 25 to test potential undesired outcomes from using apps.
Participants were surveyed on how often they use dating apps, if they participate in “excessive swiping” and how they decide whether to swipe left or right on a person.
They agreed or disagreed with statements such as: “I just have to keep swiping — there’s no other way,” “I often think about swiping when I’m doing something else” and “I would miss not being able to swipe anymore.”
Participants were also asked about their feelings toward being single, if they compare themselves to others and if they become overwhelmed when looking at dating profiles, with agree/disagree statements that include: “Others are more popular than me,” “I feel anxious when I think about being single forever” and “I feel that I see so many potential partners on dating apps that I can barely process the information.”
They were also questioned on whether they swiped in “locomotion mode,” basing their swipes on gut feeling or first impressions, or “assessment mode,” basing decisions on information provided in the profile and self-defined criteria.
Many app users admitted they rarely go on in-person dates with people they match with — or even resist messaging them — which keeps the dating process completely online and has a lack of actual communication.
The study found that using dating apps moderately has no effect on the three emotional factors, however, researchers believe that more swiping, apps and profiles do more harm than good.
“Excessive swipers reported to be more overwhelmed by the abundant number of seemingly available partners on dating apps than moderate swipers,” the authors wrote. “That is, excessive swiping seems by and large detrimental, no matter how youth swipe.”
“As has been found for social media, not the mere time spent on dating apps is problematic for transition age youth but the excessive use of a certain rather non-communicative platform element.”
Getting a match can boost confidence and make a person dream about a future relationship — but researchers warn that online dating can turn into something addictive since matches are gratifying and reward frequent use, while at the same time will “not lead to visible rejection.”
“This makes the activity of swiping an ideal candidate for a compulsive behavior,” the study authors wrote.
Algorithms on dating apps tend to favor profiles that spend more time on the app, and some apps even require their users to physically open the app to see new messages and interactions.
“Our findings suggest that dating app users who are seriously interested in meeting someone face-to-face should try to restrict their swiping and not get distracted by in-app instant gratifications such as ‘like’ and ‘match’ notifications,” lead author of the study Marina Thomas said.
The research also found that people tend to be pickier on dating apps since they have a never-ending amount of options, giving them higher expectations for their choice of a partner.
“People do not stop searching as soon as they have found a sufficing option, they try to maximize their gains which requires extensive searching,” the authors said. “When exposed to hundreds of profiles, users report they feel like having to screen all options and sort out unsuitable ones.”
The number of options adds pressure since it increases the chance of a good match, in theory, and makes people feel like a “failure” if they don’t find their person.
There was a link found between excessive swiping and a fear of being single forever, feeling bad about life and “partner choice overload.”
“These apps are designed to enhance human connection,” Thomas said, “but swiping too much means you might miss out on that desired spark.”
This article was originally posted by The New York Post.