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Dating apps are causing anxiety, according to experts in love

13 February 2018
People using apps become shallow and anxious
An Alumni event, titled ‘The Future of Love’, was the first in a series of alumni events scheduled for 2018.
People sit in rows listening to a talk

At our popular alumni event, The Future of Love

People who use online dating apps in search of a partner become shallower in their outlook on life and more anxious about their appearance, according to a panel of experts taking part in a University of Sydney Business School Alumni event held in the lead up to Valentine’s Day.

The event, titled ‘The Future of Love’, was the first in a series of alumni events scheduled for 2018.

The CEO of dating sites RSVP and Oasis, Dave Heysen, told his audience that dating apps have had a positive impact but he added, “the negatives are, people are becoming a lot more shallow and quick to make a decision”.

“If you look at the advent of apps like Tinder and Bumble, and even RSVP and Oasis to some extent, most people who use them now use them on their phone, they’ve got limited time, so they’ve actually got to make a quick decision on whether to pursue that person or not,” said Mr Heyson. “That doesn’t give people a real chance to express themselves.”

He was joined on the panel by Clinical Psychologist and NHMRC Career Development Fellow at the Brain and Mind Centre, The University of Sydney Adam Guastella, and Rejinder Sidhu, the Sales and Retail Operations Manager of Harlequin, which specialises in romance books targeting women.

“People who rely on Tinder and really focus on their profiles end up having a lot more anxiety and concerns about their appearance,” said Professor Guastella, who has conducted research into social anxiety.

On the positive side, the panellists agreed that dating apps allow people to meet others outside their usual social circles, communicate and learn a lot more about each other before going on a date, and find a niche dating app to suit their specific need.

“As online dating becomes so mainstream, if you’re not doing it, well why aren’t you?” asked Mr Heysen.