By Antara Kar
Contributory Author for Spark Igniting Minds
Swipe left – not my type.
Swipe right – Interesting, Let me find out more...
Super Like – There seems to be a connection. Now I have to gear up to impress her/him for a date.
When two people like each other based on digital bio and profile picture, it’s a match. Yes, that’s how online dating world looks like.
The above acronyms may sound familiar to youngsters but if I were to explain it to my great grandmother, it would have been a real challenge. Well, I’m still sugar-coating my narrative on how I met her grand-son-in-law.
With the invention of the internet and smartphones, the way of matchmaking has changed over the years. Marriages are no longer arranged between friends, friends-of-friends, social groups, or relatives.
However strange it may sound, but our generation trust algorithms and artificial intelligence for romantic adventures in virtual space.
The dating apps advertise it as a virtual marketplace where singles could shop for each other.
It extends to say “Start of something epic” and promises to offer a human companionship.
Next thing is:
How far shall I travel to find my romantic date? These apps have a radius parameter. So basically one can find love sitting at work or at the living room while watching TV. It’s been made that handy.
These apps take demographic input, mutual interests, world views, likes, and dislikes and show you a digital exaggerated version of people. Well to further break it down, men on these apps look for visually pleasing women to get intimate with but on the other hand, women looking for serious relationships.
As per the general survey, women tend to put younger photos of them claiming to be thinner and men try to portray more successful in a career than they actually are.
The manner in which men/women select or reject has become binary. Within a fraction of second, we have to either say yes or no to flip the card. The perennial desire to be unique and possess someone who is unique too is the basic need that these apps serve us. People on these apps have become so cynical that everyone is looking for something different and no one is ready to make an ordinary choice.
These virtual apps give youngsters room to reconstruct themselves as per their liking in the opposite gender. It’s found that people have high needs to be appreciated which often leads to creating a false image about them. The early death of romance, infidelity, or divorce has evolved as a by-product. People often think if I’m making this choice, I may be losing out the better one waiting for me. So clearly people are not emotionally invested in any relationship.
Basically they are weighing their choices.
“People who are not very similar to their romantic partners end up at a greater risk for breaking up or for divorce,”
I happen to ask in my peer groups: What brings them on the platform?
Few of them told me, they have inculcated dating as part of their daily routine. Some say they want to escape boredom. Others opine it’s the best place to settle the flame of lust and they can cope with loneliness. I came to the conclusion that peer pressure is high among singles and it’s a must for everyone to have a respectful partner.
Looking at the outside fragile world and how technology is changing our love life with excessive choices, disrespectful attitudes towards our partners, and constantly seeking validation in society is rampant. The way we interact with people has changed from face-to-face to via technology. We only care about social media status whereas we have become unsocial from inside.
How I met your grandfather? has always made me curious as a five-year-old. I used to fantasize and value marriage deeply at that young age. I remember hearing stories from grandma. She used to tell that grandfather used to live in a nearby village. Once my grandfather saw my grandma playing under the banyan tree.
He fell in love with her innocence and used to secretly write letters about his feelings and post it to her house. Later my grandma’s dad found out the guy (grandfather) by secretly executing a mission. (Undoubtedly, parents were similar at that era too) Eventually, after both side's parental meet and approvals from all levels of hierarchy, they made their happily ever after.
Cut to today’s generation we speak of compatibility check, interest match, good-look check, income check, caste check, community check, and whatnot. After so many pre-checks, still, young people are not able to carry out the legacy of married life that our past generations have once lived. Somehow true love or service to each other has diminished over time.
I sometimes wish if life could be simpler like our olden days. No intrusion of social media, screens, smartphones, gadgets in our lives. Only real connections and no space for virtual reality can bring back a simple happy life.
About Antara Kar
Antara Kar is a techie by profession and an author/ poet/ blogger by passion. Her writing career started with fiction that she penned for a local magazine. Blogging was always on her bucket list, and eventually, with panache and flair, it became a reality.
She is best known for writing articles, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and more. When not absorbed with a page-turner, she finds interest in cooking, traveling, sports and fitness.