Haha, bro! That one’s cute. Dude, I’m telling you, swipe right!
This bit from a conversation I overheard on the streets of Powai, Mumbai, left me thinking. Watching two boys munching on their Krispy Kreme donuts and searching for ‘the perfect ten’ on an outrageously famous dating app, I couldn’t help wondering why such apps give hope to our generation.
Image : shutterstock
We live in an age in which we throw caution to the wind and indulge in lucid conversations with strangers. We have learnt to put up our best-angled pictures, reveal enough but not too much in our Twitter bios and ‘play it cool’ in first conversations. Nowadays, even companies judge potential candidates based on their Facebook timelines and Instagram filters, labelling them into different boxes unconsciously.
“She’s a Malabar [Hills] girl… I’ll go broke trying to keep her happy, man.” This casual toss of generalisation startled me out of my reverie as I realised that this was the reason why these apps existed. To simplify matters.
As we grow older, we are conditioned to understand and instantly mark people as ‘pretty’, ‘traditional’ or ‘loose’. An individual becomes a commodity and we start looking at their features like we would at a piece of lettuce in a grocery store. And, we start making our own lists. “He should be taller than me, well-built and have a decently paying job. Hell, if he has a car, it makes my life easier!” We’ve all heard this one before, right?
What apps like Tinder and Hinge offer us are categories. Categories that these fictitious ‘perfect ones’ fall under. Ones that help us crack the code to finding the perfect match. They act as search engines for what they think you’re looking for and convince you of the same. Most importantly, they give hope to this generation that romance isn’t completely dead. After all, why would anyone join a dating website if they weren’t searching for the perfect match, right?
Therefore, we browse through a range of beautiful men and women, ones who these apps believe are ‘to your taste’. We swipe left for most because we can’t see us looking good together. We swipe right when we see they’ve gone to a good school or are working at a well-known company because that rounds up their prime value in our eyes.
We start talking to the many candidates, whom we evaluate virtually before we decide on a place and time to meet. When we do make a plan, we suggest quick drinks in the evening because lunch and dinner are probably too intimate. Sometimes, we do rub off. And, at others, we cringe and text our friends to make those emergency fake calls.
We look to counter our loneliness with the help of a machine-built software, which we believe will help us find someone to fill the temporary, emotional vacancy in our lives. And, what’s the best part of it all? We call it fate.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory)