Modern dating distorted by apps and racy online content, survey shows


Although smartphone chat and so-called hook-up apps make it easier for 18-30-year-olds to glimpse more potential boyfriends or girlfriends than in the past, the array of choices can be too much, going by survey findings presented at the annual Society for Ethnobiology conference in Prague. — dpa

PRAGUE: Social media and online dating options are leaving young adults "confused" about romance and creating unrealistic perceptions of the opposite sex, with women seemingly worse affected than men, the authors of a new study say.

Although smartphone chat and so-called hook-up apps make it easier for 18-30-year-olds to glimpse more potential boyfriends or girlfriends than in the past, the array of choices can be too much, going by survey findings presented at the annual Society for Ethnobiology conference in Prague.

Meanwhile, deceptive photo enhancement tools and sex-related content are affecting people's perceptions of reality, according to Chayan Munshi, executive director of the Ethophilia Research Foundation, an Indian organisation focusing on behavioural biology and public health research.

"Preliminary analysis suggests that more than half of young people experience confusion about choosing life-partners, with women appearing to be more likely to report partner selection confusion than men," the foundation said ahead of presenting its results.

Already a "complicated psychological process," dating has been made even trickier by "the pervasiveness of social media and digital dating," the researchers found, perceiving a rise in "impulsiveness" compared to previous generations and "a decrease in in-person social interactions."

"Our hypothesis strongly indicates that the pleasure index or adrenaline rush of relationships is taking more prime importance in the younger generation over long-term stability," Munshi said. – dpa

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