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Dating Apps Endanger Real Relationships

A recent Aperture video on YouTube effectively portrays the harms and dangers of today's dating apps, especially Tinder:

Maybe the most disastrous thing about dating apps is that we're ultimately commodifying love and that can change the way we view and experience it. When we're attracted to someone, our brain releases the chemical dopamine as a reward response. Online dating apps train us to constantly seek this dopamine hit from attraction or lust. Then when we're with someone we're no longer getting that attraction. We know it can easily be found on an app in our pocket. All we have to do is ghost, deceive or abruptly break up with someone in order to get it again.

Even just looking at an attractive person on your app will give you a hit of dopamine, making loyalty to a lover much less appealing. You get hooked into a reward cycle. It becomes addictive. Just as you get a blip of joy from a like on social media, you get a hit of dopamine from a match on Tinder. It keeps you coming back even if you have found someone worth keeping.

Most of us have been with someone we loved and still questioned whether there was someone better out there. Apps like Tinder exploit this feeling. They overwhelm you with choices, making you feel like you're never making the right one. And so you move on. Back to the phone. Back to the dopamine hits so readily available. As you go on dates and start relationships the app is always dangling that shinier object or human being right in front of you.

Because it's so fast and easy to get a new shot of dopamine by simply opening the app on our phones, we don't give ourselves enough time to get to know a person. The problem with this is that we aren't spending enough time in relationships for our brains to produce oxytocin over those warm cuddly feelings which are more common in long-term relationships. If you've ever been in a long-term loving relationship, you notice how at peace you feel. How when you're with this person everything feels all right with the world. Dating apps are weaning us off this feeling. Dating apps are more dangerous than you think.

You can watch the video here (timestamp: 6 min. 04 sec. to 8 min. 04 sec.).

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