Swiping left...sigh!

An overdrive of gamified features, coupled with expensive gated ‘tiers’, alongside concerns over how some dating apps handle users’ data – often extremely sensitive – has led to ‘swipe fatigue’ among many single Bengalureans.
Swiping left...sigh!

BENGALURU: For Shilpa (name changed), a student at a prestigious research university in the city and a self-described introvert, dating apps were a valuable source to meet and connect with like-minded people, offering a welcome escape from the pressure and judgement she often felt in real life. Having struggled with anorexia and body image issues, dating platforms, with their detailed questionnaires, provided a safe space to forge genuine friendships and explore deeper connections. But recently, when the 27-year-old returned to her ‘favourite app’ after a few years, she says the whole process had become worse than real life in many ways.

When Swiping Becomes a Chore

Once touted as revolutionary matchmakers, dating apps have faced growing backlash in recent years. An overdrive of gamified features, coupled with expensive gated ‘tiers’, alongside concerns over how some of the apps handle users’ data-often extremely sensitive-has led many to feel ‘swipe fatigue’. “The abundance of choices can lead to decision fatigue, making it challenging to form meaningful connections. Burnout is common when investing significant time and emotional energy without seeing desired results. While it’s a convenient way to meet new people and expand my social circle, they can also feel impersonal and superficial, with a heavy emphasis on appearances,” shares Deepank, an academic.

Allure of Authenticity

Deepank’s sentiments echo a growing trend in Bengaluru, where singles are ditching digital dating in favour of real-life encounters. Om, founder of Unfoldlove, a platform that has organised speed dating and matchmaking events in the city since 2017, says, “Growth has been slow, but it’s clearly visible.” He adds that events like the ones he organises offer opportunities to meet and engage in activities in a controlled environment. “We have events like first date salsa, and even if these events don’t lead you to finding a partner, they provide a place to work on your personality, interpersonal skills, and confidence,” Om says.

Cost of Constant Connection

Meanwhile, mental health experts warn that the addictive nature of dating apps can do more harm than just causing fatigue. “Dating apps are designed with features similar to social media apps to keep users constantly engaged. For instance, the swipe and scroll features make users anticipate a match sooner or later, making these apps highly addictive and easy to use,” says Srinithi Sridhar, a counselling psychologist.

Swipe, Sigh, Repeat

If your dating app experience feels more like a chore than a thrill, it might be time to diagnose yourself with a case of ‘swipe fatigue’. This modern dating malady is characterised by exhaustion, disillusionment, and the nagging feeling that your ‘soulmate’ isn’t just a swipe away

Symptoms: Mindless swiping, ghosting galore, and the urge to nuke your entire online presence and move to a remote island

Cure: It’s time to swipe right on self-love. Reconnect with yourself, rediscover your passions, and (try) flirting with someone you can actually see

Love in the Time of Politics

The latest ‘red flag’ for Bengaluru’s Gen Z and millennials? Politics (or the lack thereof). A recent survey by the dating app Happn found that a staggering 76 per cent of 26-35 year-olds in the city are eager to engage in political discussions with their partners. So, if you’re looking for love in Bengaluru, be prepared to talk politics. It’s no longer just about shared interests and hobbies; it’s about finding someone who shares your vision for a better future

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