Dating Apps: Preying on the Technosexual Generation

The word technosexuality is used to describe individuals who showcase excess love for gadgets like mobile phones, tablets, and computers. These technophiles adore their urban lifestyle and love being connected to the web. Ever seen a millennial without an electronic device? It’s hard to find one. Millennials live in a technosexual era where even the process of dating has turned into a game. How many dates can you find in a month? Do they turn into successful hookups or disastrous meetings? With apps like Tinder, Truly Madly, Woo, Happen – finding a date is just a click or a swipe away. Dating apps flourish by eliminating the gap between digital and physical dating. By turning on one’s location, users can find a date within their locality and receive instant gratification by bridging the lags caused by time and distance.

It’s not you, is it?

If you find a date on through a dating app, the credit goes to your pictures and those impressive words that you string together to describe yourself. It’s never the true you. Dating apps mostly gather information about you from your social media accounts – Instagram and Facebook. People invest a great deal of time to upload their best pictures, choosing the right filter and topping it with the perfect caption. They try to seem adventurous by selecting specific music, travel, fashion and pop culture interests. The motive is to appear ‘Cool’. Thus their digital eligibility exceeds their actual eligibility. In a bid to increase their physical attractiveness, they hide who they are. So if you receive a sweet message or a date request, it’s an invitation to the digital you and not the real you.

Prior to dating apps in India, a host of websites like Shadi.com, Bharath Matrimony and Jeevansati.com assisted people in finding a partner. However, these portals were confined to marriage. Dating apps were instantly welcomed and gained popularity among millennials primarily because it offers freedom of choice in a world of uncertainty. Unlike a matrimonial site where the goal is to find a spouse, dating apps allow you to get on them without exactly knowing what it is that you are seeking for. You are shown an array of people based on your sexual preferences. You can either make new friends, go on dates, engage in casual sex – it’s up to you. Conversely, this free choice is raising our expectations and causing us to exploit one another. Finding a match on these apps has become a matter of ego and pride – How many matches do you get in a day? Our already confused generation is developing false ideas about how a relationship begins. Pampered with choices, we refuse to give time for a relationship to grow and see how it goes. Instead, we swipe through a collection of potential candidates and decide who is worthy of our time, solely based on their looks. We think -Why waste time on one person when there’s a pool of matches waiting in the palm of your hand? These factors associated with dating have morphed our generation’s understanding of romance.

An Endless Spread

Dating apps serve its users with a platter of choices making it possible for them to go on two or more dates on the same night by sending out a single text. This tends to hamper one’s notion of a monogamous romantic relationship. Adding to this, such dates are built on feelings of anxiety and mistrust. Every time you set out on a date, there are a series of thoughts at the back of your mind – Is she meeting other men? Is he texting women other than me? Thus it’s only feelings of insecurity that pervades through your date. Do we really want to start a relationship with such thoughts?

Habitual users of dating apps either get a boost of dopamine when they find a match or they feel frustrated when they are rejected. Some are left feeling insulted when they receive crude and lewd messages from prospective matches. This happens quite often as the person you are messaging is a total stranger. And when matches fail to respond, they begin to think lowly about themselves. Such thoughts affect their psychological well-being. A study by the American Psychological Association showed that users of dating apps are crippled by a negative self-image. They tend to have a low self-esteem and are dissatisfied with their appearance because of the constant need to look attractive and impress others. Why do we need reassurance from strangers to have a positive self-image? The fact is that the Generation Y lacks the ability to love and accept themselves in the absence of a significant other.

Our personality which used to play a major role in finding a mate is fading in the background. The dating culture now requires you to be active on social media and share your every life activity. Look around you, don’t you know more about the person sitting next to you because of social media rather than face to face interaction? Such factors compel us to question the impact of a technosexual era. In a race to reap the benefits of technology, we are not just competing with one another but also in a constant competition with who we were yesterday. Is this why we created technology.

Picture Credits: http://www.thehealthsite.com



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