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For some of us, face-to-face contact while your mental health is at a low point can be incredibly difficult.

According to researchers at Ohio State University, people who describe themselves as lonely and socially anxious are more likely to become addicted to dating apps.

269 college students were surveyed for the study, which found that participants who referred to themselves as anxious and lonely were increasingly addicted to the online platforms.

Addiction can be described as a habit which interferes with your daily life, be it your mental health, physical health, work life, friendships, romantic relationships, family life or school life. 

One of the lead researchers said of the results that socially anxious people must watch their habits more; "Especially if you're lonely, be careful in your choices. Regulate and be selective in your use."

The more mindful practice is called 'slow dating' and it can increase the quality of your dating app matches.

Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and OKCupid have made it possible for people to access a wide dating pool, but the consequences of this could be negative for those who deal with chronic loneliness.

To test this, researchers had students answered online survey questions like "Are you constantly anxious around other people?" to determine their levels of social anxiety and loneliness.

They were also asked whether they agreed with statements like "I am unable to reduce the amount of time I spend on dating apps." A sense of security was found online, rather than in person.

The researchers discovered that people with higher levels of social anxiety claimed they preferred to meet people on dating apps rather than in person, and favoured socialising via messaging.

Many of these people with social anxiety may lack confidence in their own social skills, and can seek protection on these apps form face-to-face rejection or awkwardness.

When those in the survey reported being both socially anxious and lonely, they also used dating apps to the point of addiction.

However, students who said they were anxious but not lonely, or those who said their feelings of loneliness were only low to moderate, didn't display behaviours that suggested addiction.

The small study relied on self-reported data from students, so don't be overly worried about your constant dating app use. Mindfulness is still a priority, for your health and dating prospects.

Creating limits surrounding dating apps could benefit both your mental health and your chances of scoring a decent date.

Bear in mind that your motive should be healthy. It's a dangerous notion to rely on interest from men or women for your own happiness or self-esteem.

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We've all been casually swiping left on a loop until a gorgeous Golden Retriever stops us in our tracks.

Be it a golden-furred Labrador beauty, a tiny terrier puppy with baby paws or a King Charles; dogs melt our hearts and urge us to swipe right.

Many of us believe that inserting dog photos into our dating profiles will garner us more dating app matches, but now a representative from OkCupid may just have confirmed this.

Elite Daily spoke to Michael Kaye, Global Communications Manager at OkCupid, and according to him, adding pictures of dogs in your dating app profile is proven to make it more successful when it comes to matches;

"We actually have millions of dog mentions in OkCupid profiles," Kaye says.

"Users with dog mentions have a higher probability of initial conversation over those with cat mentions. They also have a higher reply rate."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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OkCupid also discovered that a love of dogs is something most people agree on; 

"We found that 81 percent of men and 80 percent of women on OkCupid like dogs," Kaye continues. "Additionally, 84 percent of women and 80 percent of men either own a dog or would love to."

Kaye also claims that has been a 422 percent increase in dog mentions on OkCupid profiles since 2017. Everyone must be catching on to the trend…

Gabrielle Aboodi, the Senior Account Executive for Tinder, also told Elite Daily that dating app users are in love with doggos.

"Users typically respond to photos that include animals or travelling shots," she says, adding that roughly 10 percent of both men and women include dogs in their photos.

UK-based pet food company Webbox carried out a two-week social experiment called Pet Wingman, where they tried to find out whether including your dog in your Tinder or Bumble profile boosted your chances of finding a match, and the results were positive.

Women saw an increase of 69 percent more matches when they included a dog in one or more of their pictures, while men saw an increase of 38 percent more matches.

For Tinder, women received 117 percent more matches, 150 percent more messages, 100 percent more super likes, and 122 percent more total interactions.

Men on Tinder received 30 percent more matches, 75 percent more messages, 200 percent more super likes, and 53 percent more total interactions.

Dog photos lead to just as much success on Bumble as they did on Tinder for male users of the app.

For Bumble, women received 22 percent more matches, 100 percent more super likes, and 30 percent more total interactions, while men on Bumble received 45 percent more matches, 40 percent more messages, and 39 percent more total interactions.

"Bumble users often include photos of their pets on their profiles, but they can also use Bumble filters and badges to specially match with people that are also dog lovers," Bumble's Global PR Coordinator Sang Lee commented.

"In fact, our data shows that our pet badge is one of the most popular badges alongside our star sign badge."

There you have it, single ladies and gents. Ruffly the entire population loves woofers, so kickstart that photoshoot and add some swipe right-worthy paw pics to your profile.

You'd be barking mad not to (sorry…).

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We've heard some pretty quirky methods in our time of finding a soul-mate, but this has to be the most elitist.

A dating app in Australia named Toffee Dating is exclusively for those who went to PRIVATE SCHOOL, and you can just imagine how posh the conversations get. 

Sliding into DMs just got a lot more snobby…Tinder and Bumble clearly aren't upper class enough for these folks.

Lydia Davis, Co-creator of Toffee Dating, explained to 9Honey why the company brought the app from the UK to Australia. There's apparently a huge amount of privately educated people Down Under.

"In the UK, eight per cent of people are privately educated but in Australia that number is around 35 per cent. We felt that Australia would be the best place for us to roll out to first though as we were inundated with requests for us to launch there."

We have no words for this. Finding 'The One' is now about class, your education and economic background. Some app users must agree with the idea, seeing as it's lifted off the ground so quickly.

Image: Boss Hunting

The website has some fairly divisive words to promote the Toffee beliefs and framework:

"Toffee is the world's first dating app for people who were privately educated. We set it up because we know people from similar backgrounds are more likely to stick together."

"Toffee connects the right people to help them find their match with our sophisticated matching algorithm taking care of all your dating homework."

An algorithm works to generate matches based on hobbies and likes, such as adventure, sport, nightlife, city life versus country life etc.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"The app has innovative personal interest and attributes 'sliders' where the user slides a cursor to show how much an interest in, for example, sport is important in their potential partner," the website continues.

"Secondly, whether it's a shared interest in horse racing or rugby, Toffee users can indicate which sporting and social events they are interested in or likely to attend, to further enhance the matching logic."

We're guessing it features a lot of chino-wearing polo players who love the conservative Tory party and probably got an overpaid job from their dad….

The hilarious ad for the app features ridiculously good-looking people (ugly folks don't go to private school, apparently) bonding over expensive champagne. They didn't stray too far from stereotypes, it would seem.

Feature image: comedy.co.uk

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A new study by eating disorder charity Beat suggests that dating app users are "more likely to have unhealthy attitudes to weight".

Those who use dating apps might be at a higher risk of controlling their weight through laxative use, fasting and vomiting, according to the research.

The American study is based on a survey of 1,700 adults. Beat stated that dating app users at risk of these habits needed to be offered support in order to reduce the risk of bad weight management habits developing.

Apps like OkCupid, Grindr, Tinder and Bumble have grown massively in popularity over the last couple of years, with men and women hoping to find romantic and sexual partners through swiping.

Physical appearance is one of the main attributes which dating app users evaluate when searching for a potential partner, with emphasis placed firmly on a person's image. 

The study was published in the Journal of Eating Disorders, with researchers comparing the behaviour of those who used dating apps versus those who didn't.

Dating app users apparently have higher odds of engaging in six core unhealthy habits to control weight; vomiting, using laxatives, diet pills, using muscle-building supplements and anabolic steroids.

183 women and 209 men out of the 1,726 people surveyed claimed they used dating apps. Roughly half of men and women admitted to fasting in order to control their weight. 

One-in-three men in that group and one-in-five women said they would vomit to control their calorie count. 40 percent of men and one-in-four women claimed to use laxatives…yikes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The research also showed that men who used dating apps were more likely to use steroids and supplements to build up muscle, which isn't surprising considering the six-packs constantly displayed on reality shows like Love Island.

The lead author of the study from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Dr Alvin Tran, said they found higher rates of unhealthy behaviours among ethnic minorities, interestingly.

"While we do not know if the people in our study were already engaging in these weight control behaviours before using dating apps, we worry that the use of these image and appearance-focused services could exacerbate those behaviours."

He continued;

"With the tremendous growth in dating app usage in the US, and an increasing number of studies linking their use to body image concerns and unhealthy weight control behaviours, there is a need to further understand how dating apps influence health behaviours and outcomes."

Tom Quinn, director external affairs at Beat, said they welcome studies which can help to identify triggers of eating disorders.

"Not everyone who uses unhealthy weight control behaviours will have an eating disorder, nor will they get one, but such behaviours can contribute to the development of the illnesses for people who are already vulnerable and can prevent recovery for those who are ill."

He added; "It is important to note that this research does not prove a causal link between dating apps and unhealthy weight control behaviours. 

"Nevertheless, it is important that dating app users who may be at risk of eating disorders are directed to sources of support."

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Workplace romance is becoming a little vintage, it would seem. Except less fashionable.

the office GIF

Just one-in-10 couples (11 percent) are now finding love in the workplace, according to a new report.

Nearly one-in-five romances in 1990 were forged at work, in comparison. Back in the day, things were clearly done differently.

They were also times when people stayed at the same job their entire lives though, and most likely met less people, seeing as travel options were less extensive.

The research was published in the latest 'How Couples Meet and Stay Together Study' from Stanford University.

Nichi Hodgson, author of The Curious History of Dating: From Jane Austen to Tinder, in an interview with Yahoo UK claims that striking up a relationship with a colleague is now “less sociably acceptable”.

Despite the fact that we're spending longer hours in the workplace, we are now more cautious than ever about a co-worker relationship turning into something romantic, according to Hodgson, due to the #MeToo movement.

The movement aims to tackle workplace sexual harassment and assault, and has been building since Tarana Burke started it back in 2006. It caught fire in 2017 after the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke.

Nichi Hodgeson claims that "workplace relationships need to be conducted very carefully to ensure there's no breach of company behavioural guidelines." I mean, it ain't that hard not to be a creep.

Hodgson also argues that we shouldn’t necessarily be disappointed by the end of the workplace romance:

“They don't necessarily show you someone's true colours – you won't see how tender or angry someone can be at work, for example, because the majority of people are on their best behaviour,” she says.

“Just because they're a good team player at work doesn't mean they necessarily will be in a relationship.”

season 2 flirting GIF by Blunt Talk

Online dating and apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and OK Cupid are now taking the lead in bringing people together, with almost one-in-four (39 percent) of heterosexual couples meeting through those platforms.

This is an increase since 2009, when the stats showed 22 percent of hetero couples meeting online, according to the Stanford University findings.

Meeting through friends is still a popular means of finding your future partner, but it's much less common than it was in the past. Over a third (34 percent) of people met this way in 1990, but it’s now just one in five (20 percent)

“Dating apps may have only been around for a decade but they have a radical hold on our affections when it comes to meeting a partner, mainly because they are so convenient in our ever time-pressed lives,” Hodgson says.

the boss kiss GIF by Kim's Convenience

“They're not necessarily leading to better connections though for multiple reasons – they create a paradox of choice, giving us too many people to choose between when social scientists tell us we get cognitive overload somewhere between five and nine options," she continues.

“Dating apps are encouraging us to be ruder with behaviours,” Hodgson adds, which is due to a “lack of accountability needed from users”. Overall, Hodgson believes that dating apps can still lead to a stable, long-term match. 

“When we do finally choose a serious partner from a dating app, we are likely to stick with them – we are taking longer to settle on someone but that is producing more stable long-term matches when we finally commit.”

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The popular dating app Bumble has finally created a new tool to fight back against unsolicited d*ck pics being sent and received by its users.

An AI named 'Private Detector' will be able to scan images sent in chats for signs of X-rated imagery and blur them out as well as assigning a warning.

55 million people use the app, which is claiming that it can separate out the lewd pictures with 98 percent accuracy.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The firm said: "With our revolutionary AI, we're able to detect potentially inappropriate content and warn you about the image before you open it."

"We're committed to keeping you protected from unsolicited photos so you can have a safer experience meeting new people on Bumble," the company stated.

Bumble is one of Tinder's major competitors, but works by only allowing women to initiate a chat with their matches. The app is one of the few that allows its users to trade images.

In June, the AI technology trained to spot nudes will start flagging possible rude images as soon as they land in your inbox.

The pic will be blurred and will also involve a message underneath that reads: "This photo is blurred to protect you from inappropriate content." Recipients can either block and report the image or open it anyway.

Private Detector was created specifically to tackle a plague of sexual harassment and abuse which has been streaming from dating apps for years. Especially for the safety of women, dating apps can be a dangerous feature.

A YouGov poll recently found that more than half of young women have received nude pictures online, and three quarters of images were unsolicited.

"The sharing of lewd images is a global issue of critical importance," said Andrey Andreev. "It falls upon all of us in the social media and social networking worlds to lead by example and to refuse to tolerate inappropriate behaviour on our platforms."

Andreev heads up Badoo, the network of dating apps which includes Bumble.

The organisation's bosses slammed a misogynistic "small-minded" fat-shamer in a recent open letter, and banned him from the app, according to The Sun.

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June is Pride month, in case you haven't noticed the onslaught of rainbows on every corporation's logo over the last two weeks, but we've got another matter in mind to address: Dating apps.

Most of us haven't yet realised that the most popular dating apps around are heavily tailored towards heterosexual, cisgender people.

Why not spread the love around, eh? Give queer people, gender non-binary folk, trans people, gay men and lesbians a shot at swiping right.

respect yourself lisa kudrow GIF

We've gathered our top five best dating apps for queer people, so grab your Pride and get on the Swipe Slide. 

1. Her

Her is, without a doubt, one of the best dating apps for lesbian, bisexual and queer women.

Why? It's simple: It was made BY queer women FOR queer women, rather than just creating a heteronormative app and then tailoring it for lesbians.

We absolutely love Her's unapologetic approach to love, and their respect for intersectional inclusion for those of all races, sexes and gender-identities. 

Don't let the name fool you: The site is one of the most popular dating apps for both cisgender and non-binary people looking to meet other queer women or non-binary people.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The app allows users to create a social media-like presence through profiles and queer event suggestions, allowing you to meet people in the flesh. Love is in the air, for everyone this time.

2. Lesly

Dating apps created specifically for lesbians and bisexual+ women seem like few and far between; enter Lesly.

The site works similarly to Tinder, and uses photo-based profiles that you can swipe left or right for.

On this app, however, you'll only find queer women and no straight men looking to creep on lesbian women…Thank the Lord.

Image: Lesly

3. Fem

Fem is a dating app geared towards lesbians and those interested in meeting lesbians. Despite the language, which appears to exclude trans people and gender-non binary folk, the app isn't only for lesbians.

Queer women of any and all sexual orientations and gender presentations use it successfully, and the app encourages users to make video profiles. There's also a group chat setting.

Making a video profile isn't compulsory, so don't worry if being in front of the camera isn't your thing. Just upload a killer selfie, and get swiping.

Image: FEM

4. OkCupid

While OkCupid began by focusing almost exclusively on straight people, it has now developed to become far more welcome towards the queer community.

The site have added a rake of new gender identity and sexual orientation option, and has more extensive user profiles so it's great for finding a real, romantic connection for a long-term, relationship/

They ask a huge amount of questions when you download the app, but the detailed profiles definitely pay off.

5. Hinge

Hinge sets up potential partners through their mutual friends on Facebook.

It only matches you with friends of friends, so you're never meet with someone too far outside of your social circle, rather than basing matches on location.

The site allows you to answer questions about yourself in your profile, meaning it's more in-depth than Tinder or BumbleHinge also sends you daily ‘batches’ of matches, so it's pretty good for progress.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hinge (@hinge) on

That sums up our top five dating apps for queer folk, but don't forget that Bumble and Tinder still work for the LGBT+ community, they just weren't initially made for them.

Grindr and Chappy are also KEY for gay men, with Grindr working incredibly successfully for hook-ups and Chappy supporting long-term gay relationships. All we can say is…YAS.

Happy Pride, folks. Find some romance, even if it's just self-love. If you can't love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love anyone else?"

.daily show gay GIF

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Well, ladies and gentlemen, we've got some wonderful news for those who adore mingling in other countries with singletons. Surrounded by wine. 

According to CNN Business, the dating app Bumble is planning to open a cafe in Soho, a trendy New York City neighbourhood. The cafe will then transform into a wine bar when the sun sets.

Think Cinderella but probably without the prince. The app clearly wants to allow its users to mingle in real life, as opposed to on a screen. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bumble UK and Ireland (@bumble_uk) on

The venue will be called Bumble Bew, and the space may serve as a meeting ground for dating app users who are looking for love, a new friend or a business colleague.

Bumble was first launched in 2014, and has since expanded to Bumble BFF for finding pals and Bumble Bizz for networking to the max. It garnered fame for allowing women to make the first move.

Their NYC spot will be Bumble Brew's first permanent location, after pop-ups happened in London, Los Angeles and Toronto.

The pop-ups were used for far more than just hooking up, and we're seriously impressed at how rapidly the company has been expanding and diversifying.

A print magazine in collaboration with Hearst Magazines has also been announced.

The company was founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd, formerly of Tinder, and is almost entirely owned  by Russian billionaire Andrey Andreev.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bumble UK and Ireland (@bumble_uk) on

He's pretty busy, after also founding Badoo, which is a parent company to Lumen (users over 50) and Chappy for gay men.

The female-friendly app has also launched in the most dangerous country in the world to be a woman (India) and has seen over a million registrants there.

Bumble claims to have enough profits to focus on brand extensions, like Bumble Fund, which backs early-stage startups led by women-of-colour. Werk.

Would you head to the Bumble cafe during the day or wine bar at night for some company? We would…

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Are you consistently getting ghosted on dating apps? Tired of always being left 'on read'? Completely jaded with swiping all day with nothing to show for it, and heading on disastrous dates every weekend?

Well, RTÉ Two are here to save the dating day, with their brand new show which targets young singles looking for love; Pulling With My Parents.

The show intends to follow people from all over Ireland who are stuck in a merry-go-round of bad dates and dating apps, and who are willing to go to drastic lengths to crack Cupid.

How drastic, you ask? Parental interference…that's how drastic. 

single bad date GIF by GIPHY Dating

Basically, you'd hand over the romance reins to Mum and Dad and see what happens. Sounds dangerous to us, but infinitely entertaining to watch. Sorry, not sorry.

Parents will roll up their sleeves and give their kids' dating profiles an old-fashioned overhaul, replacing those spicy selfies with something more regal in order to find them a suitable lover.

We're sure these parents will be needing a major crash course in emoji culture, and slang for social media. However, Mum and Dad will be trying some more traditional solutions to get their kids a son or daughter-in-law.

Be it a personal ad in the Farmer's Journal, good old arranged marriage or plucking a date from the local GAA club, these parents will go the extra mile to find their kids love.

tv land tinder GIF by YoungerTV

The series will no doubt be exploring the deepest corners of the generation gap, but we're expecting to be cringing the entire time watching it.

Think First Dates paired with Sun, Sea and Suspicious Parents, and that's the show you're looking at. We have to say, it sounds absolutely gas.

Does your Mum really know what's best for you? Does your Dad know how to find the man for the job? Why not apply for a chance to be on the show and track the love of your life.

Apply for the RTÉ dating app show by emaiing dating@Alleycats.tv, and change your love life today.

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Image: Instagram / Whitwolfeherd 

Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd has been threatened repeatedly after photos of guns were banned on the dating app.

The decision was made in March, following the devastating Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and other such incidents.

“It’s polarising and we had to have police at our office for several weeks,” the entrepreneur recently said to Joanna Coles, chief content officer at Hearst Magazines, at the Cannes Lions panel.

According to Page Six, Whitney further explained, “I was getting emails saying, ‘I’m gonna show my Glock and my you know what [genitals]’ with literally a picture of the Glock and the other thing.

"It was, ‘We’re coming for you, we know where your office is.’ Our team members were getting harassed. It’s been really wild.”

A statement on the company's website about the move reads: "Online behaviour can both mirror and predict how people treat each other in the real world. Bumble has a responsibility to our users and a larger goal to encourage accountability offline…

"As mass shootings continue to devastate communities across the country, it’s time to state unequivocally that gun violence is not in line with our values, nor do these weapons belong on Bumble."

Speaking about the ban at the panel, Whitney said, “I guess if you’re pushing the limit on something, you’re going to piss someone off.”

The decision to ban gun photos was controversial even within the Bumble office itself.

 

A post shared by Bumble (@bumble) on

“It pissed a lot of people off, but it was the right thing to do. We have a lot of people on our team that are responsible gun owners," the CEO, who also co-founded Tinder, revealed. 

"I’m from Texas … Our brand values are equality, empowerment, kindness and accountability. Do guns fit that bill? No. The majority of women that die from domestic abuse a year is from guns. So why would we want to romanticize that?”

Whitney herself is no stranger to divisive moves, as some people were taken aback by Bumble when it first appeared on the dating app scene.

In case you haven't heard of the app (where have you been?), women are the ones who must message first on Bumble. The idea behind it is female empowerment – and that you don't end up with a barrage of strange texts from dudes (unless you've talked to them already). 

 

A post shared by Whitney Wolfe Herd (@whitwolfeherd) on

The tech entrepreneur left Tinder in 2014 and settled a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and discrimination. She began Bumble in December 2014.

“When I went and started Bumble as an antidote to everything I went through, it was early," she recalled.

"#MeToo had not happened, Times Up had not happened … you didn’t walk through the aisles of Target and see every T-shirt that said ‘The Future Is Female’ or ‘We Should All Be Feminists.’ The word ‘feminist’ was actually taboo.

"And so Bumble was quite polarising in 2014 … It’s really fascinating to have been a bit early to this incredible tidal wave that is now taking over culture.”

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Popular dating app Bumble has just launched a special fund to help female film-makers tackle the "shocking" gender imbalance in the industry. 

The Female Film Force offers aspiring female storytellers in the UK and Ireland the chance to win one of five £20,000 grants to make a short film, with the hope that they will shown at film festivals in 2020. 

It comes after a controversial award season which saw just six women, including Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, take home an Oscar, compared with 33 men. 

Those behind the initiative say the winning films will "embody Bumble's values of female empowerment, equality and kindness." 

Each entry must include an all-female team of writers, directors and producers, and will be judged by a panel of industry professional, chaired by radio personality Edith Bowman. 

As well as finanical backing, successful applicants will also relieve guidance from experts as part of a mentoring programme created in partnership with Women in Film and TV.

Whitney Wolfe, the founder and chief executive of Bumble, said: “The imbalance we saw over this year’s awards season at the Oscars, Golden Globes and the Baftas was truly shocking.

“Women are incredible storytellers, and creators, and we want to see more of their stories told.

“We know how many talented women there are out there – and we want to see them represented accurately. There is no reason why one of these films shouldn’t be nominated or win an award – and that’s the vision for this project; real opportunity, real stories, real change.”

The five winning entries will be announced in July, with the aim to have the films finished and ready to showcase at an industry event in January 2019. 

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Dating apps like Tinder and Bumble may have a role to play in the increasing amount of sexually transmitted infections being reported in Ireland, according to doctors.

It's believed that the laid-back attitude associated with online dating may we changing the way we think about casual sex, thus contributing to the increased risk of exposure to STIs.

Dr Ilona Duffy believes that young people are showing less concern for things like unplanned pregnancy and infections, than the generations before them.

"We're seeing the likes of Tinder, other websites where people are hooking up purely for sex and people, young people especially, don't have the same hang ups as they had years ago – worrying about pregnancy, worrying about STIs, worrying just about their reputation," she said.

"So it is very different. While it is fine to be on Tinder etc and meeting up people for casual sex – you've got to take precautions and I think that's not out there," she said.

She also said that an improvement in Ireland's sex education system is need to decrease the prevalence of STIs in Irish society.

However, she did point out that the growing number of sexual health clinics around the county could behind the inflated figures.

To protect yourself from STIs, make sure to use condoms during every sexual encounter, and avail of free, regular STI screenings.

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