The world is but a small place. The next thing you know is the person you matched with on Tinder, is your neighbors’ son’s best friend.
While technology may have brought with it its privileges, its abusive usage is not too far away. Each day is just a ‘wait and watch’ type.
Today, I seek to delve into this sphere of virtual relationships. I’m not sure how many of you’ll (in particular, referring to people who are unmarried and in the age group of 18 – 35) even consider a relationship as being more than a fulfillment of your physical needs and portraying some excessive PDA; but to many like me, relationships are more than that. And one thing I hate technology for – it’s chopped off the ‘love’ from relationships.
Several relationships I see are just so sham and much of pretence; especially those, who go all out on Instagram, trying to show the universe, how much they love their ‘bae’.
At this thought, let me share with you my opinion on a video of @sakhshi.sabhaney I came across.
The video is shot in a car and has both Sakhshi and her boyfriend sitting in the front of the car. The video has evidently been recorded from the seat behind.
Girl: Come close to me
Boy kisses her on the cheek
Girl: No don’t kiss me. Tell me.
Boy: Aww (and some other soft talk continues)
The first question that sprung to my mind was – WHY would you record this? If it wasn’t intentional, how did it turn out so perfect? Whatever it is, the world needn’t know.
Well, love has been detached from relationships.
Your next question should ideally be – so WHERE has it gone? Very carefully, it has creeped into that idiot box (on which you are probably also reading my blog!) through apps such as Tinder and the likewise.
For those of you’ll who don’t use/are unaware of how Tinder works (I secretly admire you already), here’s a little information on it.
Unlike real life, on Tinder you only get messages from the people you’re interested in. Chats only get unlocked when both people swipe right on each other. That way you know the feeling is mutual. No more messages from people you don’t want to talk to. The first thing you see on Tinder are pictures. Then, with a tap into someone’s profile you can learn much more, including who your common friends are, what interests you both share, and other fun stuff the user chooses to share. This gives you context before deciding whether to swipe right. All swipes on Tinder are anonymous. That means that no one will ever know whether you swiped left or right on their profile. The only exception is when you and another user both swipe right on each other, at which point Tinder notifies you both that “it’s a match!”[i]
Given this background read on.
Finding the right one has become so easy no? Just a swipe right and he/she is my ideal partner.
Do you even realize, how slowly and steadily each one of us is getting commoditized? It is as if we are trying to portray ourselves as better and better individuals (obviously only our ‘bahaari khoobsurti’), to people who don’t even know us. Like really? Well, if this was not the reason, then why would Tinder give people an opportunity to link their Instagram accounts with it?[ii] Think over it.
One might not perceive it, but in your opinion, what is the concept of swiping someone to the left? Is your judgement just limited to that first photo you see? Many of us perhaps do that. Didn’t like that picture, “Ahh he/she is not my type.” Yeh ‘type’ bhi badi ajeeb cheez hain.
So what happens after Raj and Richa swipe? Where are they headed?
The chat window usually opens up with one of the default messages Tinder gives you, such as – ‘One thing common between you two – you both love Tinder!’ The irony is that this message comes even if this is the first time the person is using Tinder. LOL.
Taking this further, they’ll tell each other ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello’ accompanied by the basic greetings courtesy. They’ll slowly move on to talking of their common interests or some tacky description written in their bio, and slowly start commenting on the pictures they like of each other.
This goes on for days, weeks and months, and Raj and Richa are still on their Happy ‘Tinder’ Honeymoon. Obviously, they moved way beyond the ‘Hi’, common interests and descriptions.
Throughout this period, Raj and Richa still haven’t met each other. They can’t say about each other’s touch, smell or demeanour. But they claim they are in a ‘relationship’.
What kind of a relationship is this?
Reflect over this: You text and email each other all day, and occasionally check each other’s Facebook and Instagram to see if they uploaded any new pictures of themselves. At night, you may talk on the phone or Skype. And the cycle just goes on. This is what constitutes a virtual relationship.
Says dating coach Hunt Ethridge. “Call it chemistry, fireworks or pheromones, [but] humans are hard-wired to deal with each other in person. What is said in communication is really only about 20 percent the actual words spoken or on a screen. The rest is about the body language and the tone.”[iii]
What most people these days don’t understand is that these kinds of social media platforms can have negative consequences too. As technology keeps on progressive, we as humans are becoming even more inhuman. We believe the ‘love of our life’ lives in that doltish smartphone of ours.
But where is the love? Where are the feelings? Where is the emotion?
Talking to someone day in and day out, leads to emotional attachment. Emotional attachment leads to expectations. If expectations aren’t fulfilled, it leads to disappointment. Disappointment leads to depression. And finally a breakup, which might be very difficult to handle in extreme situations.
Imagine a situation in which, a year after talking to each other, Richa is suddenly married off to another family friend Samridh.
What happens then? What was all that between Raj and Richa? *No but they never met naa, one of you would think*
Apps such as these are harming our interpersonal relationships and in-person discovery with the virtual kind. It is practically impossible to know everything about a person based on a chat; it leaves a lot up for interpretation.
In an article with Fox News Magazine, says Colin Hodge, co-founder of the dating app DOWN, “We’re seeing more people working on honing their ‘texting game’ skills so that they keep their match interested and move the relationship along.”[iv]
Seriously? Is this what love used to come down to 20 years ago? And they call it a ‘texting game’. Well, I’m guessing this is what it takes to get an ‘e-girlfriend’.
Richa’s grandmother used to tell her – “Beta main toh tere dadaji se tab mili, jab hamaari sagaai (engagement) tai ho chuki thi.” But Richa always scoffed at this.
Surprisingly enough, how is what Richa doing any better than her grandmother?
Rather than finding love, people are using such mediums to send easy flirtatious messages, express their desires, sexual or otherwise, and probably even cheat upon their girlfriends. Who’s gone to see if Raj had another girlfriend or Richa had another boyfriend?
For those of you who want to hone their dating skills, here is a link to some ‘Tinder Dating Tips’ which you might find useful. [http://get-a-wingman.com/tinder-dating-tips-the-definitive-script-for-picking-up-girls-on-tinder/]
I couldn’t help but think to myself – Tinder Dating Tips? Ah! Yes. Samridh is waiting to cheat on Richa too.
[iii] Source: http://stylecaster.com/are-you-in-a-virtual-relationship/ (Accessed on 12 November 2015)
[iv] Source: http://stylecaster.com/are-you-in-a-virtual-relationship/ (Accessed on 12 November 2015)