A recent study found that the user percentage of mobile dating apps in India is growing even while it has flattened out globally. No wonder then, that dating apps are trying to lure Indian singles and those looking to mingle with more advanced features.
Keerthana G D, a user of a dating app observes, “With the availability of cheap Internet and phones, everyone has such apps now. But luckily, it’s app-based dating is not like climbing a greasy pole anymore. The newer (and better) apps make you answer a list of questions, which are then matched with other users.
This not only helps finding like-mindedpeople, it can help to keep away the set of people who are not a match to our criteria which could be anything from financial stability to religious beliefs to professional details, etc. This gives an assurance to meet the person.”
She advises people to proceed with caution though. “For example, my women friends mention that they get requests for hook-ups. Sometimes, this is disturbing for new users and for those who are not really looking for a fling,” she says.
Ayshee Bandyopadhyay, who works in an MNC, believes that the best way to avoid such negative experiences is to ignore those sorts of messages. She says,”The dating apps are no way in control. Some profiles are fake and a few ask for money and do not return. These apps are also ending up with sexual relationships or payment for video calls. The purest form of relations is losing their value with such actions on these apps. And the only security we see on these apps is to block some profiles.” But, Ayeshee says, “It isn’t only about negative experiences. I’ve had some positive ones too, with some very good bonding.
These apps not only help in dating but also to find some good friends to hang out with. A few apps are location based and a few have no such limitations. I used Baddoo and my friends list is super cool. We bonded so well that we have even attended each other’s family events!”
Keshav Santosh, an employee in a start-up, explains how these apps can help find friendships, “Sometimes our circle of friends may not bring us excitement, but interacting with witty or funny strangers on the app can. Getting to know someone for the first time is thrilling and I can say it also teaches patience and decency. Although my friends may not agree with me. They insist that I’m using the app only for hook-ups even if I say I’m not!”
While the taboo against using such apps to look for a friend or lover may still be around, it is slowly dissipating. And some apps like Okay Cupid even have options for the LGBT community to connect over them. These apps allow individuals to meet a new set of people. The technological shift has empowered people to open up, work and plan ably. According to Keerthana, it won’t be long before the rural areas will grasp this culture of using dating apps because of the influence of social media, movies and Westernisation.
That’s good news for the app developers, who are probably working overtime to create regional language versions and hyperlocal versions already!