In the pre-digital days, Hampton explains, if you moved out of town for a new job or switched schools, it was a real challenge to stay in touch, no matter how close you were. But with social media, we get many more daily peeks into what everyone is doing and thinking.
“Little pieces of information about your life, such as where you ate dinner, who you were with, and your political leanings, are visible in ways they were not before,” Hampton says.
After all, who can resist having what's essentially an all-you-can-date buffet at your finger tips? To get a professional opinion, I reached out to some experts to help uncover the surprising impact of using dating apps on our mental health and well-being.
But here's the thing: Yes, dating apps basically mean you have a nearly endless supply of potential dates literally in our pocket, but is that a good thing? And spoiler alert: Yep, they definitely have an effect.
“Our findings are very clear and consistent, that users of social networks tend to have close relationships, not just online, but in real life,” says Keith Hampton, Ph D, an associate professor of communication and public policy communication at Rutgers University.Since this generation of teenagers has more homework and activities than any before it, much of their social life is online.A recent survey found that only 25% of teenagers spend face-to-face time outside of school with their friends every day. More than 80% of teens in the survey say social media makes them feel more connected to their friends’ lives, and 70% feel more in tune with their friends’ feelings.Technology helps relationships last over time and distance.For friends who can’t always meet in person, technology helps them stay connected. In the past, it was easy to assume all your friends shared similar beliefs to yours, Hampton says.