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Sun, 22 Apr 2018

Northeast Today

Dating Apps’ Grey World

Dating Apps’ Grey World
March 16
12:16 2018

February Edition, Special Story, NET Bureau

Sir Albert Einstein, while explaining what relativity is, once said, “Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.” Analysing Einstein here, we can say that time spend with one’s partner is always less and never enough. Meeting each other and to go out for a long drive or a walk is always exciting. But as the world has developed technologically, meeting in person has been gradually replaced by virtuosity. Kingson Chingakham gives an account about the advent of dating apps and how it has replaced the age-old tradition of dating and pushed the entire concept towards oblivion.

First Few Words

A decade ago, dating apps hardly existed. Everyone entered into a relationship organically. That was not the age when you were dating someone but still swiped (looked for) to check out more options. That was the era when technology did not reach (invade) the private space.

The availability of dating apps has developed the perception that ‘apps have simplified the nature of dating’. In reality, it has become even more difficult. Now, people do not meet in person to see whether they want to go out on a date or not. They now choose from the plenty of options available on the various apps and show up on the dating day. As a consequence, a lot of people suffer from the paradox of choice- too many choices, too many decisions, too little time to do what is really important.

Competition of Numbers

It has become a trend to go on multiple dates taking all the available options. This might be exciting at the outset, but the sad truth is that the addiction to these apps has resulted in the inability to give 100 percent attention to a single person. This is worrisome because you cannot know one person properly when you are dating multiple others.

Alicia, a British national working in Delhi, sharing her experience with dating apps said, “These apps have made dating far more exhausting and it consumes a lot of time as well. Still, I open the apps to swipe left and right. I have gone on four dates in one week just to find the ‘Prince Charming’. But I just wasted my time and money by over consuming alcohol in all those four dates. I pledged to be pickier but it is getting harder.”

Future of Dating

Nowadays, if you put your best on paper (resume), you get the best jobs. Likewise, people are looking to date those with the sexually appealing photos. Irrespective of sexes, all spend enough time not to remain fit and healthy but to build sexually appealing bodies. The same people spend most of their times grooming themselves in the salon to look the best in the pictures.

So will we be able to go back to the old fashion of dating? Yes, if we do not get addicted to the apps. It is good that you get to meet new people in your lives. But it is difficult to get the one you are looking for until and unless you give sufficient time to know a person. Nowadays, we get bored of someone easily, presuming that there can be a better person to date. The options are plenty but are they really worth exhausting your time and money to explore all the options? It has become really difficult to focus on just one person at a time. But that’s the value that all must embrace.

When these apps/sites did not exist, it did not bother you whether you had to travel for miles for dates. At present, distance matters. Most of the apps show people who are nearby. People have refused to go on dates because of long distance. Have we become lazy? No. Now, most of us have understood that there are options. But nobody cares to think what the person who stays far might turn better than the one nearby?

A lot of apps/sites have a certain commitment which caters to the consumers-a casual hook-up, an actual relationship, marriage, extra-marital affairs etc. Teddy Truchot, Co-founder of Gleeden, an extra-marital relationship app, said,” With the increasing adoption of modernized culture and ethics, the unique concept of extramarital dating is also making its place in the world of dating. The upcoming dating websites are majorly for single people. It was pretty difficult or nearly impossible for married people to meet new people as they had to find partners on some dark roads. We aim to forge a space for extramarital encounters which could be made indiscreet space”.

He further said, “Gleeden is one of its kind websites, solely run by women, offering space to people seeking new partners. We provide a safe platform for anyone looking for experiences outside their relationship. We hope to give our users a confidential and secure environment where they can explore people and have great experiences in an anonymous backdrop. Our prime focus is women who are either facing a broken marital relationship or are looking out to spice up their lives. Indian market is majorly being dominated by websites and applications specifically and solely dedicated to single people. With our arrival in the Indian market, we hope to help women and provide them with a convenient virtual space for new encounters. We are making roads in the Indian society for those seeking infidelity as it is now becoming a natural and common process. With the increasing Indian subscribers, we hope to make the despondent group of people happy and contented”.

The apps/sites have also been misused several times. There are many people who ask for cash or kind in return of sexual pleasure. The amounts of fake profiles that exist portraying fake pictures and other details have violated the privacy of many people. A woman in her 30s recalling one of the horrors said, “I chatted with a guy for almost one and half year. He had uploaded good pictures and other details in his profile. I was innocent at that time and did not realise that it might be fake. When we decided to meet, he turned out to be a completely different person. It did shock me but also broke my heart”.

A similar tale was narrated by Rajib Das, a 32-year-old banker from Guwahati.

“So, I met this girl in one of the most popular dating apps. I was bowled over by her personality. We chatted for around eight months. We shared a lot of personal things and to be honest enough, I became emotionally dependent on her. And after eight months of virtual dating, I felt it was the time to take our relationship to the next level. I wanted to start something serious in real and when I expressed the same to her, she agreed too. But when I saw her for the first time, I was taken aback. The account holder’s photo and the person in front were not the same. She, in reality, was a lady in her mid-40s and not the 27-year-old girl who she says she is in her profile. For courtesy sake I sat and talked to her and then she told me that all she wanted was a few nights together and nothing more. She said, that she got emotionally attached to me and she wanted to feel these emotions to calm her physical desires. I did not know what to say or how to react as I never wanted to have just a physical relationship with the girl whom I met in the app. I left the place heart-broken. And Since then, I have not used the app. It took me months to come out of the shock.”

Getting Good At Being Dumped

These apps have given some therapy. People are so used to getting dumped that breakups and blow-offs go more easily. You can have a perfect date. But the person disappears after the first date. The first experience might be uneasy. But it gets used to and stronger and prepares us for such events in future.

Hardly people read the profile. Good pictures will lead to swipe right and bad pictures swipe left. Just because the pictures are not up to the mark, you might lend up swiping left but you rejected a potentially good person and a potentially amazing relationship because of bad pictures. Those who have failed to get matches have shown lack of self-confidence and self-esteem and are worried about their physical appearance.

It is an addiction. What happens when you get a match? It gives you a boost of dopamine which will help you in thinking what’s the harm in playing more? The app makers have realized this addiction and exploit all of us.

One excited male from Delhi said, “It is fun to play the game of swipe left and right in the middle of the night. When I get a match, I continue swiping till the sunrise (laughs)”.

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