Mental health is a very important topic to young people today. Progress has been made towards promoting mental health awareness, but there are still some aspects of our lives that affect our mental health without realizing it. Dating apps have been shown to affect users mental health.
One group I’d like to focus on in Grindr. Grindr is probably the most well known LGBTQ+ dating app. The app was kick-started in 2009, and has faced a lot of scrutiny over the years. In 2018, Buzzfeed News discovered that Grindr was sharing the private information of its users (their HIV status) to other companies. The app has also faced controversy over the location features.
Beyond the technical problems with the app itself, studies show that Grindr users are unhappy. A Vox article surveyed 50 men about the app and their happiness. The author, Jack Turban, found that the men felt more anxious, isolated and depressed. He also explained that the ability to find immediate sex through the app for some users could be leaving them feeling depressed (but this is not to say that all Grindr users are looking for sex on the app).
But how is this different than other dating apps and subcultures? To look at the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, mental health conditions are three times as high for people who identify as LGBTQ+.
Overall, users of dating apps, Grindr and others, can measure their self worth off of the responses and experiences from dating apps. How can someone base their worth off of the reaction they get from someone’s first impression of them? But it’s easy to do when users get their validation from sex and relationships.
Our generation is thought to be the most lonely generation because with social media, our generation can compare themselves to the people they follow every day. They look at other people’s feeds and lives and compare other’s highlights to their lowlights.
It is important to remember that your mental health is more important than an app. Whether it’s Grindr, Tinder or Instagram, if it harms your mental state, make a change or give it up.
You can also seek help for your mental health at the resources below:
The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ+ focused organization and hotline for LGBTQ+ experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a hotline where you can talk to a real person if you are experiencing suicidal or depressed thoughts.