Technology has changed our lives. It has affected us in every possible way, touched every aspect of our lives. So it is obvious that it will affect the way we love, and fall in love. Frederick Noronha zeroes down on few apps and technical tricks to help you find love… this Valentine’s Day!
Film director Jerry Zucker once said: “I love technology, and I love new gadgets. I can no longer figure out how to use any of them, but I love them.” One might paraphrase this to read: “I love love, and I love getting it. I can hardly figure it out, but it still loves it.”
Since Valentine’s Day is near, controversies in India and questions about its relevance apart, my editor who manages this section suggested I turn my gaze to matters of the heart this time round.
Needless to say, there’s so much of it online. For one, we’re almost all fascinated with the idea of finding a soulmate, what with all the hype we get continually via the mainstream and cyber media. But its power is for real, at least in cyberspace. Al Jazeera reports that 40 percent of the people in the US have used the internet for dating. The industry, it says, has become a $4 billion business. This was some time back; things have grown since. Hundreds of websites and hone apps “inundate the market”.
Cyberspace promises you to find love, meet your match, locate someone your compatible with… or, more cynically, just find sex online (sometimes, encouraging you to cheat on your spouse, even if you’re married).
reviewsxp.com lists the following as the best 15 dating apps and sites in India currently, working for both the iPhone and Android: Tinder (connect to a ‘relevant’ person in less than a minute); Truly Madly (find matches based on interests and preferences); Woo (for the well-educated professional); Bumble (once you get a match, only she can start the conversation); Moco (make friends and socialise too); OKcupid (matches sexual orientation and distance).
Kama is an app based on South Asians, not just based on distance and age. Bloomy gives preference to the safety of its user. Hinge offers a high level of discretion (unlike Tinder). Aisle, paid and for serious relationships. Frivil shows you pictures of random people, whom you rank. Thrill is an Indian dating app, targeting those who might not be tech-savvy.
The last three on this list — ekCoffee, Matchify and HookedUp — allow you real time conversations with only one probable match at a time, matches your interests (while emphasising security of women), and verifies profiles, respectively.
Tinder — http://gotinder.com/, the location-based social search mobile app (using Facebook) — puts you in touch with mutually interested users, allowing matched users to chat. The app is most commonly used as a dating app, but has branched out to provide more services.
Check with Quora.com (the questions site) and you’ll find queries like ‘Has anyone got laid in India using Tinder?’ or ‘How often (do) Indian girls use Tinder?’ and ‘Does Tinder really work in India?’ This probably reflects the view that online dating can be quite one-sided (genderwise) in our part of the globe, unlike in the West where women and men seem equally keen to play the game. Here, the sex-versus-marriage dichotomy seems to show.
Online, you can find links for sites offering “friendship, love and marriage”. Of course these are all very different things. So, you need to know where you want to go.
Some have names like Fropper.com (“meeting and chatting is just one click away”), getvee.com (“ultimate college hangout”), stepout.com (“fastest growing place to chat, share photos and meet new people”), quackquack.in (“100% free online dating site and best matchmaking service to meet Indian singles”), easydate.in (“find thousand of beautiful and sexy single girls in India free”), and flirtbox.in (“a 100% free dating site for India”).
I’ve found some old-style chats, including the age-old ICQ, the place where people of certain demographic (read: ages) also hang out to find “that someone special”. Must warn you, in this day and age of cybersex and getting more than you expect, to be careful about where you’re going. Check out beforehand the reputation of the site or app, so you don’t run into something wholly unexpected and/or shocking.
Investor, corporate speaker and cyberguru Mahesh Murthy said (in 2011): “Facebook, with over 40m members is now the primary source for dates among non-dating sites, followed by Orkut, LinkedIn and WAYN. I mention these because I believe their use for dating in India is far larger than the usage of dating- and relationship-specific sites.” Six years on, he might still be right.