We need to ditch the stigma attached to loneliness. The stigma is what compels people to return to dating apps when they are vulnerable, ultimately leading to matching with someone who tries to exploit that loneliness for personal gain.
Loneliness is a normal and often healthy emotion. There's no shame in craving human connection, affection of love. The next time you feel lonely - before you open Tinder or OKCupid - find an alternative source of connection. Join an online community or social media platform. Take a walk outside and engage in small talk with neighbors. Volunteer. Go to an animal shelter. One of the many reasons I walk dogs (in addition to the money, of course) is because of how seen they make me feel. You can find that same feeling of significance in a myriad of ways that cost you nothing, namely your self-esteem.
Use dating apps when you feel confident, not to curb loneliness.