Your TikTok obsession is ruining your dating life

Here’s the proof.

by Douglas Greenwood
06 September 2021, 11:25am

Have you come out of the ‘other side’ of the (still ongoing) pandemic feeling profoundly unsexy? Do you feel like you’ve lost every ounce of game in the dating world that you’d acquired in the years prior to it? Have you ever wondered if there was a reason for the months of stilted or non-existent interaction? Did you ever think of blaming TikTok?

Well, the video-based app that had its big boom during the first wave of the pandemic seems to be hogging quite a significant amount of our time; so much so, that a study commissioned by the app suggests that nearly half (45%) of TikTok users found themselves scrolling through TikTok in the time they’d usually be swiping right on dating apps like Tinder, Hinge and Bumble.

Does this sound like you? Then you’re probably one of the 45% who’ve sacrificed potential snogs and shags and first flames to watch a teenager with more money than you do the Renegade, or a middle-aged woman making iconic, kitsch collage videos to her own hundreds-of-thousands-strong audience. TikTok really did manage to nail that algorithm; gripping us with every kind of inane and fascinating content that we consume for hours on end. But while dating apps show you strangers in a similarly detached fashion, as soon as you swipe left (or right and you were unlucky) they are gone forever. Your TikTok #ForYouPage however, feels like watching quickfire episodes of several TV series in tandem, each one with their own compelling protagonist. “You again,” you say, as Max Balegde reappears shouting at strangers in the street after a night out.

We suppose it makes a lot of sense that we’ve absconded the apps in favour of a community where the idea of rejection feels less like the end of the world, and you can wilfully watch other people for your own entertainment -- or feel seen by their actions -- without the fear of someone you aggressively fancy calling you an uggo by ignoring your really pleasant Hinge comment.

It’s not just dating apps! Apparently, 35% of us have strayed from watching TV and streaming services since downloading TikTok, and 41% have listened to less podcasts, essentially pointing towards a future where TikTok consumes every waking minute of our lives. Does that sound like a bad thing? Well, maybe.

But what doesn’t is the idea that we are finding solace and comfort in digital entertainment rather than focussing on the false and flimsy validation provided by dating apps. Anything that distracts us from such a strange source of affirming our hotness is a good thing to us.

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