Everyone knows at least five people who can't get enough of dating apps and the endless swiping that comes with them.
Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, Grindr and Feeld are among some of the most-downloaded dating apps on the UK market, but, according to new research, they could be derailing your chances of finding love.
Why? Because of the 'infinite swipe', an in-app mechanism that encourages users to endlessly tap through potential matches, making split-second judgements based on images rather than personality traits.
Making the choice in less than a second, dating app users could potentially be side-lining more suitable matches, assessing suitability on looks rather than common ground and shared interests.
"Whilst love at first sight can happen in a moment, this gamification of such an important life search is potentially demeaning to all,' said Good Thinking's Dr Richard Graham. "It's time we placed more importance on taking time to get to know someone, on personality and conversation, rather than basing decisions on looks alone."
And it shows. A survey of 1000 dating app users from the UK, commissioned by JigTalk, dating app users, found that almost 30 per cent of users spend seven hours per week swiping and scrolling to find a match. More worryingly, 14 per cent of those surveyed clocked in a whopping 14 hours.
Unsurprisingly, men clocked up more time on the app compared to women. 40 per cent of male users had downloaded three or more apps at a time, with 10 per cent admitting to using more than five at once.
"Dating apps have led to hundreds of thousands of marriages and partnerships across the world, but we must use them as messaging platforms to make conversations on, rather than just photo sharing apps," said JigTalk CEO Alex Durrant.
"Getting to know a potential partner's personality is key to finding love. It's an innate need which goes hand in hand with visual attraction."
MH previously reported that dating apps have caused a huge spike in STIs over recent years. The president of the British association of Sexual Health and HIV revealed that there’s been a 53 per cent rise in cases of syphilis in Wales between 2016 and 2017.
"We're seeing a genuine rise in STIs. If we were just seeing an increase in testing then our figures would look slightly different,"said Dr Olwen Williams.
"Certainly, in my career I've never seen so much gonorrhoea or syphilis in my area, ever."
So for the sake of your brain and your penis, limit your dating app use to something a little more sensible.