HBO has a new documentary, Swiped: Hooking Up in the Digital Age, which look at what it is like to use dating apps today.
Dating apps like Tinder are used in Pakistan. And while it may not be incredibly widespread, there are certain groups of people who are using it to develop a social life, or in some cases, maximize on their good looks.
But as the HBO documentary shows, these dating apps are built like video games. And experts are pointing out that something like dating should not be “gamified”.
Gamification in apps means that they are built around a system of “rewarding” you. The interface of the app throws up bright lights and colours to congratulate you if you’ve made a match. This is very far from real life.
Tinder expert Elisabeth Timmermans, PhD, has done research into the phenomenon, reports website Refinery29.
She says that using such apps boosts ego. The article says: “It’s easy to understand how dating apps can provide an ego boost, and why that might make swiping feel addictive. After all, getting a match is like instant validation that someone finds you attractive, and it feels better and better the more people swipe right on your photos. But being connected to so many potential relationships also messes with your brain.”
Dr Timmermans warns that having access to such a big choice of people has a psychological downside. Dating apps give you the impression that there is an endless supply of people. This can affect the way we make choices for ourselves.