A Digital Affair | Verve Magazine
India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
August 12, 2014

A Digital Affair

Text by Nittal Chandarana

If you’ve read too many online dating success stories and are itching to try one of these surefire apps yourself, here’s something that will help pick the one for you

  • Online dating, Digital Affair
  • Online dating, Digital Affair
  • Online dating, Digital Affair

It’s funny how the country is seeing a rise in the number of relationship and/or hook-up apps. We’ve come a long way from shaadi.com to Tinder. A nation that prided itself in advertising its ‘cultured, traditional and wheatish’ side has suddenly taken a sexual stance. Is there really such a large number of people single and looking for love online? And then we figured. A lot of them aren’t even single. Their display pictures (linked from their Facebook profiles) have a spouse joint at the hip. Creepier still, all these ‘connectivity’ apps doing the rounds make you wonder – would you rather not have to deal with the drama that comes with a real live person and indulge in a (straight)forward digital affair? Because then, we can all just hang up our hats and hope a voice akin to Scar Jo’s (and I’m thinking Clooney’s) enters our solitary lives. Her got full marks for predicting a psychotic future. Aliens be damned, our very own technology shall be our undoing.

It all started with Hot or Not where you could rate each other based on the attractiveness of the picture and whether it got any violins playing in the background for you. It might seem a little shallow to be connecting with someone at face value, but nobody focuses on that heart of gold in the first meeting anyway. It went on to Tinder. Now, what’s that all about? If you don’t already know, here’s an insider’s account of the appKrush, an Indian online dating app has a wide user base. This one seems quite okay, actually. An amalgamation of friends and friends-of-friends are suggested in batches of ten everyday. You get to ‘like’ a profile and then maybe take it forward.

If you don’t like this all-too-public profile bashing, because, you know, there’s no dearth of creepy men; Wyldfire comes to your rescue. This one’s actually foreign ka maal but we would love to have an Indian version of it. How it works: Men are allowed the privilege of this one by invitation only. No one enters arbitrarily. Safety first, always. There have been enough online dating horror stories of people who seemed amazing on the phone screen but turn out to be complete freak shows. Skeletons in the closet revealed, one horrific step at a time.

There’s also a rising tide of ‘new connections’ and the glee felt by the voyeur residing in each one. Whisper is an app that allows you to announce yours or anyone else’s secret to an anonymous account. I completely blame Gossip Girl for this one. It’s a great hit with universities, this one.

Westernisation has played a huge part in the acceptance and popularisation of these apps, as mentioned above. We see the colourful lives of popular characters on prime-time television and warm up to an Americanised version to contrast our restricted ones. Having heard multiple success stories of sexcapades, we admit, it doesn’t seem like too bad a wave. Onslaught of apps: a good thing or bad? How would you rate them? Please take a moment and let us know.


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