WTF IS DATING ANYWAYS?
INDIAN YOUTH AND DATING CULTURE
Most Indian youths live dual lives:
1. The one their parents think they live.
2. The one they live online.
Technology has liberated people to own their identities or even given them the power to create a new identity that is more in tune with whom they want to be and its effect is very much visible in dating in a country like India where dating is still considered a taboo by the older generation. (A thankfully less tech-savvy one)
Online dating apps are perfect. They are the invisibility cloak we wield against our beloved Boomers. We don't need to pull off a Romeo-Juliet, we instead send memes to each other in the comfort of our wifi's.
Online dating apps are set to play a major role in how the youth communicate with each other and find friends and romantic interests but the current dating apps have their own set of problems that dictates the experience of the users on the platforms and potentially change how we look at love and romance. I have been using these platforms for a while and I have observed the invisible dynamics that go on.
This project aims to understand the nuances in the interaction of the technology, design and its impact on the user and attempts to ideate a platform that works best for our emerging adults.
4 months thesis
The target audience being close to my age and social setting, it was initially a fun ride but the more I researched, the more complex it got. Since this was my first long-term/large-scale research project, it was a rollercoaster journey with a lot of mind maps and too much coffee.
Very interestingly, this led me to understand things about myself that I didn’t know or realise before. This process has helped me develop a deeper appreciation for people and variances. I have developed so many questions about people and society which I want to explore in future.
The dating landscape is going through a major shift along with society. We are at the influx point of social ideological change towards a more individualistic society characterised by the networked individualism of the internet. The next few years are going to be very interesting to follow and learn from.