Online dating is like a receiving a gift in the mail. The packaging looks nice… but what you don’t know is if the contents are good or malicious. Technology makes finding love extremely accessible to an almost staggering degree, but it also increases the chances of getting hurt more easily.
According to research done by the Pew Research Center, the number of 55 to 64 year olds using technology to find a lover has doubled since 2013. For people aged between 18 and 24, their numbers have tripled. But we’re not here to talk about how many people use online dating for romance. We need to talk about the dating trolls.
We’re no stranger to the term. They’re people that purposely cause psychological harm over dating platforms like eHarmony or Match.com. Tinder in particular is easily swarmed with trolls that you might swipe right for, considering that the app generates 26 million matches a day. In a study by Lifehacker, they asked 357 Tinder users to fill out a questionnaire and “if they had trolled people on the app, sent any shock comments for a laugh, or if they enjoyed ‘griefing’ other people who access the app.” The results were painful to swallow.
Supporting the previous research, we found that individuals who trolled on Tinder scored significantly higher on dark traits such as psychopathy and sadism. Tinder trolls also had levels of dysfunctional impulsivity, suggesting that this behaviour could also be difficult to control.
So, where do the ladies come in? Previous research on dating trolls once led us to believe that men were more likely to partake in the act, but women’s trolling behavior is steadily increasing. You’ll find more and more women trolling on dating platforms like Tinder, but there’s no clear cut explanation why yet. Some theorize that since women are just as likely as men to slut shame or use derogatory language on Twitter, that behavior is bleeding into the dating game.
Think before you swipe, folks. That really hot chick in the small bikini? Might not even be her. That puppy they’re holding? Probably not even theirs. She’s 22? The app might be off by 40 years or so.