How Today’s Dating Scene Has Become Toxic Leloo Chanellis September 5, 2022 MESSFashion The dating scene just isn’t what it used to be. Once considered to be a fun and exciting place to be, as technology continues to grow and norms and behaviors surrounding marriage and cohabitation change, dating has gotten a whole lot more complicated. The traditional ways of meeting a partner has swiftly been pushed aside making room for online dating. A place where users feel validated and maintain attention through the monitoring of matches, likes and successful dates, sadly turning the dating culture toxic. As good as it may be to meet people and form relationships online, swiping isn’t always fun and games. There are many problems with the way we date today, here are a few of them. Dating Apps Dating apps have provided this generation with a new and creative way to navigate their dating lives to suit them. There are more than 1500 apps and sites exclusively for dating. Tinder, being one of the most popular with over 75million users every month.These apps have given people the ability to like, unlike, match and make connections based on only a few pictures and simple swipe to the left creating a carefree disposable form of dating. It’s no surprise dating apps are becoming more and more popular because they are convenient and simple to use. While this may be fulfilling for some users, some of these apps can be detrimental to the emotional well being of others, especially those who are looking for long lasting honest connections. Countless studies have shown that dating apps expose the human body to more stressors. This is due to more exposure to rejection which leads to more problems with one’s self esteem and mental health. One study found that insecure and problematic personalities characterised by low self-esteem and an insecure attachment style are associated with dating App use. Sure, dating apps are a great tool to connect worldwide with others. But the reality is the way we use them is bad for our mental health. Social Media The generation of G zen are much more plugged into society as the first digitally native generation. Through their exposure to more technology this has naturally accelerated their communication making everything extremely more fast paced. Social media apps have led to an extreme on demand culture and overload of choice. We want everything now and we don’t want to wait. As a result people have become addicted to the rush of going on the first date only, but not willing to invest time and energy into truly knowing someone. Everything is altered, it’s just not reality Thanks to today’s online celebrities and influencers there is a specific vision / look more people are obsessing for. People are being put into categories based on how they look / their lifestyle choices making it almost impossible to like someone for who they genuinely are. People are beginning to start using the number of photo likes to determine whether someone is worth interacting with. Communication has disappeared How we communicate on dating apps such as Tinder and Hinge is important to the relationships we move on to form. With almost everything now online there are more problems with the simple communication between others. You aren’t able to check how one behaves and looks, it turns out you’re only actually only half dating someone which can leave disappointment and depression when things turn to reality. Harassment Online dating is not universally seen as a safe place to meet someone. A research conducted by the Pew research centre found 57% of dating app users reported that another user has sent them a sexually explicit message or image they didn’t ask for. Women in particular are 53% more inclined that dating apps are not a safe way to meet someone. Whilst there are precautions taken on apps for abusive behaviours it seems to be a continuous problem with users, especially women who are still unable to escape unpleasant interactions. Hook up culture There is no longer a desire for long term relationships. The free choice and quickness offered with online dating has made people become more and more disposable. ‘Hardballing’ which has been made popular by Gen Z involves being upfront and making expectations from a relationship clear from the start, disregarding anyone who does not match those expectations. There’s a constant urge to not waste time with this generation as they are more focused on what’s new and next. Recent statistics showed despite spending an average of 2 hours a day on dating apps, 72% of G zen make a conscious decision to be single. So how do we move forward in this toxic environment? Unfortunately, dating apps convenience, popularity, and addictiveness often leave dissatisfied users in a vicious cycle of deleting and redownloading. Online dating can seem like a party of swipes however you can find ways to navigate through this world on your own terms. It is a game designed simply not to develop deep connections, leaving it entirely up to you to decide whether to play it and perhaps get to know someone truly. Whilst a collection of potential harmful factors come into show how dating apps can impact our mental health, it’s important to be aware of these going forward and take the steps to support your wellbeing whilst you date. Familiarising yourself with online safety, dating app rules, or simply slowing down and taking a break can go a long way. Make sure the people you choose to get romantically involved with, share your values and have a similar mindset regarding love and relationships. Be honest about who you are and what you want to attract the right people in your dating journey.