Swipe right if vaccinated: Hyderabadis seek COVID jabbed matches on dating apps

You read it right. That’s the criteria in the bios of most online daters in the city. Read on to know how the pandemic has changed dating preferences in Hyderabad

Published: 16th June 2021 08:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th June 2021 08:57 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose only

Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  Online daters with a virtual vaccination badge on their profiles can be assured to get right-swiped. This is the hard truth; being ‘tall, dark and handsome’ or ‘beautiful and caring’ are not enough to get a date today. Leading dating apps such as Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge and Bumble, which have tied up with the government to create awareness about the Covid vaccination, have come up with their own way to spread the word.

Recently, Tinder announced that members can display their vaccination status and advocate for their potential matches to get vaccinated by adding new interactive stickers to their profile. The stickers include ‘Vaccinated’, ‘Vaxing Soon’, ‘Immunity Together’ and ‘Vaccines Save Lives’.

READ MORE | UK users of Tinder, Bumble, Hinge dating sites can now show off Covid vaccination status

Likewise, OkCupid has sent a notification to all its users asking them to wear a badge, virtually, if they have taken the jab. “Two weeks ago, on the day I got vaccinated, I rewrote my bio on OkCupid and Instagram,” Heena, a user from Hyderabad, says. Her dating bio now reads: ‘I am vaccinated. If you are too, feel free to ping me.’ Heena had contracted Covid last year and waited for long to get the jab.

“Everyone should get vaccinated. I will be staying at home unless it is declared safe to go out,” she says. Taru Kapoor, general manager, Tinder and Match Group India, says the pandemic pushed users to get creative to make new connections. “Vaccinations have become a popular talking point and mentions of ‘vaccine’ in member bios went up by 42 times in May, an all-time high compared to when the pandemic first began.” Mohammed Rafi’s Tinder bio and his intention to use the app sums this up perfectly. ‘Not everyone is safe until everyone is safe,’ reads his bio.

And, the intention is to spread awareness and not date. “I’ve read somewhere that girls like guys when they are engaged in social good. I thought I should give it a try,” Rafi, who goes by the username Plato, says. According to a survey by OkCupid, 45 per cent of the women would cancel their date if their potential partner is opposed to the idea of taking a vaccine shot. But 69 per cent men are willing to go on a date with someone, who won’t take the shot. “I would only prefer dating someone who is vaccinated. Now I have a badge. In fact, I got a notification from OKCupid last night (Monday) asking me if I would prefer an individual who is vaccinated,” says Nisha, a user.

The ‘I’m Vaccinated’ badge on OkCupid lets users announce their vaccination status on their profile and join the inoculated stack, which helps them match with like-minded love interests, who have taken at least one jab. However, getting a badge is entirely voluntary and not based on medical proof, which means it is a matter of trust. Be responsible, take the jab and happy dating.


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