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What Tinder gave and took – New York Daily News

America’s leader in dating apps, Tinder, is about to turn 10 years old. Tinder has been widely criticized for being bad for healthy relationships and even mental health. In general, it’s a bad rap. The problem is even more serious than smartphones.

People of my generation (Generation X) who found their spouses before the age of smartphones find online dating apps connecting people too superficially or offering too many options. Of course it’s important to consider how these apps affect people’s lives, but the complaints I’ve seen about Tinder and other dating apps Much of it seems rooted in discomfort with technological change rather than deep analysis of its methods. To find the best partners and build successful relationships.

I know many people who have found true love using dating apps and websites. They are in happy, committed relationships with individuals they probably would never have met were it not for technological innovations that have empowered them to expand their search for partners beyond the traditional limitations of face-to-face social networks. .

And regardless of what anyone thinks of dating apps, in a world where human interaction is increasingly mediated by computer technology, people looking for love are increasingly turning to smartphones to find love. will come to use. In fact, online dating is the most popular way to start a romantic relationship.

With that in mind, in honor of Tinder’s 10th anniversary, we offer some advice for both dating app users and developers. I am an existential psychologist. He studies the human need for meaning in life and how the search for meaning contributes to the prosperity of individuals and societies.

Dating apps can be of great benefit to people if they serve their goals of seeking long-term, committed relationships. is.

People use apps like Tinder for many reasons. Some people are lonely. Some people are bored. Some people are curious. Some are looking for a short-term relationship, while others are looking for a long-term relationship. These motives are not new. They existed long before smartphones and the internet.

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Technology changes, and technology change affects culture. But human psychology is stubbornly stable, and the key ingredients of a good life do not change.

Yes, humans are hedonistic. We are driven to approach pleasure and avoid pain. But we are also a cognitively evolved species, capable of introspection about the nature of our existence. We long to feel like we are contributing significantly to meaningful cultural drama.

To achieve this, you need to develop deep and lasting relationships. The more time and energy you spend building and maintaining strong social relationships, the more important your life will feel. The more we gravitate toward fleeting, superficial connections, the more our minds are weighed down.

Long-term, committed romantic relationships play an important role in building the family and community structures that make life meaningful. When asked what makes life meaningful, the most common answer is family. Moreover, married adults find life more meaningful than unmarried adults. Parents also see life as more meaningful than adults without children.

Finding meaning is not an easy task. When people feel meaningful, they become mentally and physically healthier, more inspired and resilient, and more motivated to make positive changes in the world. The more people use and develop dating apps in ways that help them build the types of romantic relationships that provide a strong existential foundation, the more these apps contribute to personal and social well-being.

Don’t blame the game, blame the player. Ultimately, the ability of technology to be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is in the hands of individuals. It is up to individuals to decide whether dating apps like Tinder help or undermine humanity. So please use it responsibly.

Routledge is Vice President of Research and Director of the Human Flourishing Lab at Arkbridge Laboratories.