In spite of a few informative relationships of different sorts, I met my partner the old-fashioned way, at a mutual friend's social event. Online dating always felt partly artificial, and transition from that to a "real" relationship sketchy. I was interested in online dating for a lot of different reasons. In the 80's, I was an early adopter of computers and such, and had started social media life hosting a bulletin board, named the Scarlet Fever BB because I set it up when I was home sick.
I had a solid Hayes Micromodem what's a "baud", anyway? Unlike the modem in the movie WarGames, this one was super-advanced—it plugged into the back of a computer, and directly into the phone jack on the wall. Even back then, I interacted with people online—even met a friend from a neighboring town I wouldn't have met otherwise, who was into Black Flag. Bulletin boards felt like a kind of traveling, but even then there were some obnoxious characters who, looking back, were kind of "proto-trolls".
Of course, there are always bullies, online or off, always someone looking to take their stuff out on others. WarGames, So when I started online dating, it was only sort of for romantic reasons. It was also an interesting way to meet people I never would have met otherwise, an anthropological experiment, and a bit of a compulsion for a couple of years, looking for something which didn't seem to be there.
I did something similar with Tinder a couple of years ago, got an account and signed up, noted I wasn't available romantically on my profile kind of weird , and spent a few weeks getting a first-person sense of what the experience was like, as a professional curiosity. The closest I came to meeting anyone in person was someone who wanted to be interviewed about Tinder dating, and then ghosted. Apps like that go at the accelerated pace of texting, or faster.
The addictive feeling was more compelling than desktop online dating. Immediate gratification, swipe swipe swipe, one photo after the next, a bit of autobiographical information, evocative photos of often vague significance Each momentary scan of the other's profile becomes a micro relationship all in itself, a rollercoaster of emotions and thoughts. A feeding frenzy for internet trolls, perhaps. Online dating is generally becoming more popular, though it isn't universally successful, to say the least —it's hard enough to have a good in-person first date, though some folks do find lasting love if that's what they want online.
LBRTD's are well-suited for finding just-in-time hook ups, though, and while that can work great for some folks, it can be challenging to find a real connection, and exposes people to various risks if they aren't being careful. Online dating is like looking through a garbage dump for the least broken, disgusting, dirty thing you can find. It's just a vacuous cesspool of hell and misery. LBRTD's have their own share of trolls along with online dating sites, Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.
Because research on social media has not examined trolling on mobile dating apps, and such behavior is predictably a problem given how it crops up on other social media, researchers March and colleagues sought to identify factors which would predict trolling behavior. They sought to understand the relationship among the components of the Dark Triad narcissism , Machiavellianism and psychopathy , sadism which when added to the Dark Triad is called the Dark Tetrad , and dysfunctional impulsivity.
They defined trolling as: Measures in addition to demographics included: They found that, in this sample, men and women were equal on trolling and dysfunctional impulsivity, although men scored overall higher on the Dark Tetrad.
Psychopathy and sadism were correlated with trolling behavior, as was dysfunctional impulsivity, but on deeper analysis narcissism and Machiavellianism did not. Interestingly, dysfunctional impulsivity predicted trolling only with higher levels of psychopathy, pointing to a possible interaction between the two factors, which are known to be related.
It is of note that women scored similarly to men on trolling behavior, the study authors note, because this has not typically been the case in prior research on social media.
They were not able to account for this finding based on their data, however. While one explanation could be that women in this sample were higher on psychoticism and sadism typically higher in men , in this sample men and women scored the same.
For instances, users may be more prone to express whatever sadistic impulses they have on an app like Tinder, which is more immediate and potentially anonymous. It would be interesting to ask respondents in future surveys if their profiles were more or less self-revealing—I'd guess that being able to hide behind a veil of anonymity would increase trolling.
March and colleagues conclude: The current study provides information regarding the role of the dark personality traits of psychopathy and sadismin trolling behaviour on contemporary online dating platforms i. The dating app troll, like the online troll, is sadistic, psychopathic, and dysfunctionally impulsive. Interestingly, unlikely the general online troll, the current results show that dating apps are equally likely to be male or female. As online harassment has the same psychological outcomes as harassment offline, including increased depression and lowered self-esteem , understanding the predictors of trolling behaviour is important.
Results of the current study have implications for individuals who administrate and monitor LBRTD apps, as this information may assist these individuals in developing strategies to decrease trolling behaviour on these apps. So beware of the trolls and the predators, and if you choose to use online dating, approach it lightly and stay safe emotionally and otherwise.
If people say things that make you question their motives or feel wrong, there's nothing constructive there unless maybe if you're researching internet trolls. If you are someone who likes to engage in trolling, pause to reflect and perhaps choose differently—learning to control some of those dysfunctional impulses may serve you well.
Examining the role of the Dark Tetrad and impulsivity. Personality and Individual Differences, ,