Remember when we were postponing our date with that one person who we completely hit it off with on that dating app because we just couldn't find a day that worked for both of us? We thought we had an eternity to go out with people. But then came the pandemic. And washed away all our two a.m. Netflix and Chill plans with our matches.
It made us all super bored locked in our houses—what were we even supposed to do if not going out? And with the frustration, came this inexplicable need to escape our dim reality. And that escape for many has come in the form of online dating apps.
Tinder, one of the biggest dating sites, saw an immense spike just from March to May in its usage across Asia. By mid-April, young Asians had sent an average of 49 percent more messages. And out of those, Indians topped the chatty charts with a 61 percent increase. Forced to stay home, casually browsing through Tinder became the new way to socialise. Young Koreans displayed the most openness to meet with new people, leading the continent with a 55 percent increase in swipe volume—in comparison, Asia overall only observed an increase of 39 percent.
We began the lockdown subtly bragging about our toilet paper and hand sanitiser stash (the quarantine version of a primate showing their love interest their collection of beautiful rocks). But as masks started becoming our new essential, getting a partner who appreciated and had the same mask-wearing habits became the new thing, according to this survey. And with going out becoming a thing of the past with the high risk it brought along, many on the app took their dates online too (looking at you, Animal Crossing), with Gen Z using it as much as two times more than the millennials.
Most dating apps have introduced new options to ensure talking to people online doesn’t get stale. Okcupid has started suggesting its users virtual date ideas, to ensure the void of an IRL date is somewhat filled—things like Netflix-partying together, cooking, building a playlist for the other, and dressing up and drinking. Bumble, on the other hand, has added features where you can record videos and send audio notes to your match, along with its existing chat, voice call, and video chat options. And Tinder has added features where you can answer questions and show your interests and hobbies on your profile.
With how grim the reality looks, online dating has at least made looking for an apocalypse partner easier. Now, if only, they could add a feature which would automatically solve all of their commitment issues too.
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