To swipe or not to swipe

Can we really swipe our way to romance?


Swiping a match

Tinder, Bumble, Hinge — if you’re single and own a smartphone, odds are you have at least one of these apps (or some other kind of dating app) installed on your phone. We’ve all been there, swiping left or right for countless hours, hoping to find the one. In Singapore, a whopping $22 million has been spent on dating apps since 2017. 

Studies have shown that apps like Tinder can have a negative impact on our mental health by lowering our self-esteem. But at the same time, some people use them for the ego boost that comes with getting a match.

Digital vs. analogue love

A new study conducted in Switzerland took a deeper look at the differences between couples who met online and those who met offline. They noted that online dating obliviates certain boundaries when it comes to meeting people — where distance and demographics become less of an issue and all you’ve got to do is pick up your phone to meet someone new.

In fact, the study also showed that couples who met on dating apps could be just as happy as those who met in real life, and some were even more prepared to commit to marriage and starting families than their non-digitally-matched counterparts.

That being said, there can also be variables to consider within the digital realm. The study indicates that couples who met their one true love through dating apps weren’t as satisfied with their relationship as those who met through dating websites.

How to protect yourself in your quest for love

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we can just dismiss previous evidence showing the negative effects of using dating apps. With behaviours like ghosting, catfishing, and pigging, there are definitely ways in which dating apps do more harm than good. Spending a long time on these apps without luck can even generate dating app fatigue

So it’s important to know when you need a break from swiping. If you’re already feeling down, you might want to consider uninstalling your dating app of choice until you’re in a better headspace to deal with the possibility of rejection. Make sure you know what you’re looking for as well, so you don’t spend time talking to people who aren’t going to meet your needs. 

If you’re good to go, then happy swiping, friends! And here’s hoping you find what you’re looking for in 2021.


5 Singaporean stories to catch up on

1️⃣  They forgot to mention peanuts: Woolworths’ almond, brazil and cashew nut spread is being recalled for not having a peanut allergen warning.

2️⃣  Hopefully we didn’t catch this ride, but an SIA steward who worked as a Grab driver tested positive for Covid-19.

3️⃣  Thinking of starting a family? Singapore’s government is set to launch public engagement sessions with young couples on starting families in the post-Covid-19 world.

4️⃣ A total of $159.1 million in Medifund assistance was used to help Singaporeans with their medical bills in the financial year ending March 31.

5️⃣ Worried about your hospital bill? MOH has set new benchmarks for private sector anaesthetist fees and inpatient doctor’s consultations.

And 5 facts to spice up your life:

1️⃣  A natural remedy: Thailand is turning to herbal remedies in the early treatment of Covid-19.

2️⃣  On Chinese mental well being: The coronavirus pandemic has brought mental health to the forefront of China’s public policies for the first time ever.

3️⃣ No vaping allowed: Studies show that vaping (like smoking) can lead to decreased mental function.

4️⃣ A bad start: The USA has officially had over 20 million recorded Covid-19 cases as the new year begins.

5️⃣ Need that morning cuppa? Here’s the low-down and science behind why coffee makes you poop.


A heated argument

Microwave ovens have been around since the 1940s, but people these days are still arguing about whether or not we should use them. Concerns about radiation levels and nutrient loss have been floating about for a while, but we’re here to put your worries at ease when it comes to using your microwave.

Dispelling the microwave’s bad reputation

For decades, people have worried that microwaves emit harmful radiation and even turn food radioactive. As such, the World Health Organization has had to step forward to state that in terms of radiation, microwaves are completely safe to use.

Another common concern when it comes to microwaves is that it zaps food of its nutrients. This, too, has proven to be unfounded — cooking raw foods through any method changes their nutrient compositions, so it really just depends on how long you’re cooking something for, and what temperature you’re cooking at.

Practising microwave safety

If you’re still worried about using microwaves to reheat your food, here are some tips on how to do it as safely as possible:

  • Make sure you’re using microwave-safe containers. If you aren’t sure about the takeaway box you’ve kept your food in, play it safe and swap plastics for other microwave-safe materials like ceramic.
  • Know what foods can’t be microwaved. Some foods aren’t safe to microwave, like whole raw eggs (which explode) and grapes (which produce plasma) — please do not try this at home.
  • Cover your food and keep your microwave clean. As with all kitchen appliances, your microwave should be kept clean so you aren’t growing an army of germs inside it between uses.

Weird & Wonderful

  1. Fingers have two knees.
  2. We drink 268.2 liters of saliva every year, but drinking a cup of it doesn’t seem too appetizing.
  3. Not a single fish in the world knows that it is the new year.
  4. Mrs. Incredible’s pregnancies were most likely painless.
  5. If our skin was transparent, we’d probably take better care of our health.

Image taken from George Washington University Gelman Library.

A short history of the lobotomy

Imagine this — you’re sitting down with your therapist when they suggest you undergo the latest breakthrough in psychiatric science. You’re excited, hopeful even. And then your therapist explains what will be done to you: an ice pick is to be hammered through your eye socket, into your brain, to sever the connections between the frontal lobe and the rest of your brain.

It sounds barbaric, like something out of a nightmare. But this procedure, known as the lobotomy or leucotomy, was wildly popular in psychiatric institutions worldwide from the 1930s to the 1950s, and was used to treat a variety of mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and depression.

It was first carried out in 1935 by Portuguese neurologist, Egas Moniz, who would go on to win a Nobel Prize for his discovery. But its global popularity can only be attributed to American neurologist, Walter Freeman, who performed the first lobotomy in the US in 1936. At its peak in the UK, more than 1,000 lobotomies were performed in a year.

While some lobotomies did show successful results, there were a significant number of cases where patients remained uncured and many experienced a whole host of nasty side effects, including seizures and personality changes.

Thankfully, lobotomies started going out of style once psychotherapeutic drugs came into the picture. Of note was chlorpromazine, which was the first drug to be approved in treating schizophrenia. Even before that, the medical community had begun expressing its doubts regarding the procedure — even Walter Freeman was known to have turned against the operation he had earlier popularized. He performed his last lobotomy back in 1967.


Vanessa is a go-getter and knowledge-seeker with way too many hobbies. On weekends, she can be found enjoying a lie-in and pretending she doesn't have anything else she should be doing.