Social anxiety and online dating

All participants answered questions designed to measure these traits, like whether they were constantly nervous around others, or if they preferred online dating to face to face dating.

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But social anxiety alone couldn’t predict whether a person would use apps compulsively.

What mattered, the team found, was whether a person was socially anxious lonely: those people were more likely to grow dependent on dating apps and get in trouble for inappropriate use.

Looking at the data, they observed that people with high levels of social anxiety preferred virtual dating over face-to-face contact.

Dating apps promote a greater sense of “control, comfort and safety,” Coduto explains.

Relative to meeting someone at a park or bar, which can feel unpredictable and risky for some people, online dating is relatively controlled.

It lets users carefully construct their personal image and consider and edit their conversations.

Coduto says she was puzzled why her friends kept interrupting real-life conversations to filter through romantic prospects or seemed constantly preoccupied by messages on their dating apps.

She hypothesized that social anxiety led her friends to keep reaching for dating apps, even at inappropriate times, but she wasn’t sure why.

Mindlessly swiping can become an addictive habit, interfering with creating connection in real life, performing at work, and even completing basic tasks.“Swiping takes so little thought, which is a big part of these kinds of addictive behaviors,” Kathryn Coduto, a Ph. candidate at the School of Communication at Ohio State University and lead author on a new paper on compulsive swiping in the . ”Not every Tinder user (there are 57 million worldwide, swiping about 1.6 billion times a day) or enthusiast will become “addicted to the game,” but certain types of people are more likely to cultivate dependence than others.

Coduto’s latest research sought to find out who they were.

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