January 11, 2016
Blog Post #1
According to the Huffington Post article, “This Is How the Internet is Rewriting Our Brains,” modern technology has evolved to encompass our personal lives “from how we buy groceries to how we find mates.” What specifically captured my attention from this introductory statement was the connection between technology and its ability to help us “find mates.” A direct example of this argument lies in various dating applications, one of the most popular being Tinder, and the structure of this application reflects this article’s reports on internet addiction and its promotion of jealousy.
Tinder is a dating application frequently used by the more media-attuned younger generation which directly correlates to this articles arguments on the internet’s effect on our brains. For example, this article’s first “fact” correlates one’s addiction to the internet and technology as that of a drug addict or alcoholic. Tinder also exhibits similar characteristics in my personal experience as I have encountered people (myself included) who spend hours swiping and messaging, and after being away from the application for a time addictively return to it frequently. Early in its history, a Tinder user was able to swipe as many times as was desired, but recently the company has placed a limit on the number of free swipes before the user must then pay a certain amount in order to receive more swipes. This limit thus attests to the article’s argument of one’s addiction and the hours spent using the internet or technology. Where before a person can spend a significant amount of time on this dating application, now a person can only spend a shorter time on it unless they wish to pay the company for more time manifested in a greater number of swipes. Tinder’s limitation on swipes also further expands the article’s notion of addiction because one may argue that someone who pays money for extra swipes is truly addicted to the application. By paying money, the user acknowledges a reliance on Tinder and thus attests to having some sort of addiction as the article argues.
Tinder also follows another argument introduced by the article in that the application promotes jealousy among its users. The article points to a study of “Facebook depression” in which users experience “strong feelings of envy, even sadness.” While this phenomenon stems from a Facebook user feeling envy when looking at other people’s positive photos and posts, Tinder also promotes such emotions as a dating application. If a Tinder user were to be unsuccessful in achieving matches or in obtaining dates from their matches while another user is highly successful, this may cause envy. Therefore, “Facebook depression” as an effect of the internet outlined in this article also retains validity in Tinder.
Tinder thus exemplifies the internet and technology’s effect on “rewriting our brains” as this Huffington Post article argues. This application affects our brains in causing addiction and feelings of jealousy just as the general use of the internet and the new media coming from the current age of technology.