Dating apps: How our brains react

Dating apps: How our brains react
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    Dan: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Dan.
    Rob: And hello, I'm Rob.
    Dan: In today's programme we're going to
    be looking at what our brains are doing
    when we are using dating apps. Now, Rob,
    have you ever used a dating app?
    Rob: No way, I would never use one.
    Dan: Hmm, so Rob, can you explain, when
    talking about dating apps, what we mean
    by swipe left and swipe right?
    Rob: Ah, yes. These are not new words
    but technology has given them new
    meaning. 'To swipe' is the movement of
    your finger on a smartphone to
    change the screen you're looking at. So
    imagine turning the page in a book, well,
    on a phone, you swipe. In some dating
    apps, they show you pictures of people
    you might find attractive.
    If you do like them, you swipe right. If you
    don't like them, you swipe left.
    Dan: We will dig deeper into this topic
    shortly, but first, a question. In the UK,
    approximately how many marriages start
    with the couple meeting online? Is it:
    a) One in three, b) One in four, or c) One in five.
    What do you think?
    Rob: Well, all of those seem quite high to me,
    so I'm going to guess in the middle,
    one in four.
    Dan: Well, we'll find out if you're right later in the
    programme. Now, Alice Gray is a
    science communicator and blogger.
    Recently she was a guest on BBC
    Radio 4's Woman's Hour programme and
    she was asked about what goes on in our
    brains when we use dating apps
    compared to when we meet
    people in real life. What difference does
    she say there is?
    Alice Gray: It's very easy to think that just with
    these instantaneous swipe left, swipe
    right, that the process in our brain of how
    we pick out a suitable mate would be very
    different, when actually it's really similar
    to how we do it in person.
    Rob: So she says that what goes on in our
    brains is actually very similar. Online we
    make decisions very quickly about who
    we like. These decisions are almost
    immediate - she used the adjective
    'instantaneous' for this. So we make these
    instantaneous decisions then choose to
    swipe left or swipe right. In real life, we do
    the same thing.
    We know almost immediately when we
    see someone, if we find them attractive or not.
    Dan: Although of course in digital dating,
    once you've swiped left you will never see
    that person again and you won't have the
    chance to meet. In the real world you
    could meet someone you don't find
    attractive instantaneously and then get to
    know them and find that you do quite like them.
    Rob: Yes, this is true, but then possibly
    they won't like you. And then you have to
    deal with rejection. Rejection is when
    someone doesn't find you attractive and
    they don't want to spend time with you or
    get to know you.
    Dan: So, what's the difference in our brains
    between online rejection and real life
    rejection? Here's Alice Gray again.
    Alice Gray: We see that a lot of the
    patterns associated with rejection in real
    life and rejection on dating apps are
    similar, it's just the exposure to the rate of the
    amount of rejection you get on dating
    apps is a lot higher than the ones in real
    life. So in real life you'll have time to, sort
    of, compute the rejection, get over it a
    little bit, and dust yourself off and get on
    with it. Whereas the rate of rejection
    on dating apps is so high it's often hard
    to cope with one coming in after another.
    Rob: So, she says that our brain's response
    to real life and online rejection is quite
    similar, but in the digital world you can be
    rejected many more times.
    Dan: In real life you have a bit more time
    to recover from the rejection, to get over it,
    as she says. You can dust yourself off
    which is a way of saying you think
    positively to make yourself feel better.
    Imagine falling over on the ground, when
    you get up, you might be covered in dust
    and dirt, you need to dust yourself off to
    make yourself ready again, before you
    carry on.
    Rob: In the online world though, you don't
    have that time. Online dating apps can
    lead to many rejections and
    psychologically that can be difficult to
    manage. Another way of saying
    'difficult to manage' is 'difficult to cope with'.
    Dan: Well, we don't want you to reject us,
    so time now to give you the answer to
    that quiz question before a recap of
    today's vocabulary. I asked: in the UK,
    approximately how many marriages
    start with the couple meeting online? Is it:
    a) One in three, b) One in four, or
    c) One in five.
    Rob: Hmmm, so I said b) one in four,
    25%. Was I right?
    Dan: Sorry, Rob, the answer is a), one in
    three. Does that surprise you?
    Rob: Yes, it does, I didn't think it would be
    that high.
    Dan: It's the sign of the times, Rob. Digital
    world – digital dating! Let's have a look at
    that vocabulary.
    Rob: OK, well, we started with the verb 'to
    swipe'. The movement of our finger on
    a smartphone or tablet screen to indicate
    whether we like someone or not. Swipe
    right for like, swipe left if you don't like.
    Dan: Our decisions on whether we find
    someone attractive or not are often
    instantaneous. This adjective means
    'immediate', 'at once'.
    Rob: 'Rejection' is when you let someone
    know that you are not interested in them,
    you don't want to be romantically involved
    with them.
    Dan: If you are 'rejected' you might need
    some time to feel better, and for this you
    can use the phrasal verb 'get over'. It can
    take some time to get over a rejection.
    Rob: Yeah, I know! Now being positive and optimistic
    after a rejection can be described as
    'dusting yourself off'. But, having many
    rejections can be difficult to cope with,
    which means it can be difficult to
    manage, difficult to keep positive.
    Dan: Well, we hope you don't swipe left on
    this programme and you will join us again
    next time. Remember you can find us on
    Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
    and of course our website
    Rob: And don't forget our new BBC
    Learning English app.
    Dan: Oh good idea. See you soon. Bye.
    Rob: Bye bye!
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