With the vast technological developments made over the last decade, and the subsequent introduction of countless new apps, modern day courting is becoming more virtual than ever before. In today’s society, one must simply swipe a phone screen in order to express interest in another person, located up to 160 miles away. Whilst arguably direct, many psychologists argue that this distance and lack of interaction can actually damage a person’s ability to interact with, and form meaningful attachments to, another person.
Part of this will be as a result of lack of exclusivity- one may swipe as many profiles as one likes, with no obligation to interact with that person any further. This casual attitude is understood by many users, however, this uncertainty and lack of regular communication with another individual can actually heighten an individual’s insecurities, making them feel less worthy or desirable. This psychological phenomenon has been seen across countless different social media sites, including Facebook and Instagram. In addition, this kind of environment has proven to be particularly damaging to people with quite serious psychological disorders, including narcissism, and these people in particular can find these apps extremely addictive.
With many young people working increasingly long hours, it is becoming harder to meet new people, and expand their social circle. These apps have definitely helped to make people feel less lonely, although it is unclear as to whether this is actually a false economy- after all, much of how they are feeling is based on validation from a person they may never meet, over an electronic device. There are also further concerns in terms of safety in using the apps, and users, particularly females, have to be vigilant. It is believed that many users are not who they claim to be, whilst others are trying to live double lives, and either look for casual extra-marital relations, or try to extort money or other support from other users.
Students considering applying for Psychology based subjects or Medicine might like to look into attachment formation, the nature of addiction, and the nature of an individual’s self-esteem. You might also like to think more widely about the ethical implications of these apps, and assess to what extent they are hindering, as well as helping, factions of society.