The recent incident of a Murder at Delhi, India, in which Aftab Amin Poonawala the suspected offender had met his partner Shraddha Walkar through a Dating App (in this case Bumble), has raised questions on the acceptability of this form of match making. In the said Delhi case, the meetup and dating resulted in the couple deciding to live together. This Delhi incident was in the news recently for the suspected murder of Shraddha by Aftab earlier in May 2022.
The Dating and Match Making Apps (or even Meet Up Apps) are numerous on the world wide web. The other social media and matrimonial website also provide for a ‘pseudo’ means to facilitate couples meeting each other physically. These websites not only enable couples to end up in marriages, but also assist the needy to maintain relationships and facilitate live-in. The numerous Gaming Websites also provide means, for couples to know each other and also end up in personal meetings. All this and more are the trend that is realisable form what the internet and digital medium offers. The ‘Good-Bad’ argument on these types of offering is a matter of argument and will truly end up in-conclusive. For some, these arguments end up with no conclusion, similar to the ‘Catch-22’ scenario.
To ensure justice to this piece of writing, we shall restrict our article to Dating Apps/WebSites. But, none-the-less, the other forms of couples getting together are as good as these dating app. To make the readers aware, we list out a few of the Dating Apps WebSites that are available on the web. Yet, we do not vouch for any of them, especially those that are there on the Dark Web/Deep Web:
- Match– For Long-Term Relationships.
- Tinder- Casual Dating.
- Kippo- For Gamers.
- Bumble- Woman-First Dating.
- Clover- Dating App for Community Socializing.
- Hinge- Casual Intentional Daters.
- OkCupid- Thoughtful Questions.
- Coffee Meets Bagel- Believed to be providing curated matches.
- Happn- People who are nearby physically.
- The League- is an “elite dating app” that requires you to apply to get access.
- Her- Her is tailored dating app
- AdultFriendFinder- For like-minded folks
- Grindr– For Queer Men
- Pure– Hookup app
- NUiT- Who Care About Astrology
- heybaby- fun dating
- Feeld- Hookup App
- Zoosk- Serious dating
- eharmony- For Test Takers.
- aisle- community of vibrant Indians
- Betterhalf- India’s New Age Matrimony App
- Gleeden- social networking service primarily marketed to women
- All Matrimonial Sites/Apps– (Not naming them)
- Facebook Dating– For Facebook Users
- POF (Plenty of Fish)– For Messaging Without Limits
(Note: List not exhaustive, and those listed are in no way recommended as a ready reckoner for consumption purposes)
Bumble Dating App in the Lime Light in India
This Delhi Murder Incident, has caused the Social Environment, to question the Psycho-Social temperament of humans and the aspect of Mutual Acceptability factor. This then has also provided for the aspects of integration of social media into ‘Psycho-Social Co-existence’ parameters. The aspect related to the ability of ‘Faking’ by Internet Users on social media/internet; is also a matter of contemplation and introspection.
The importance of “Social Policing” by members of the family, friends, neighbours and society; is now seen to be lacking, hence providing for unsupervised life and behaviour, thus leading to such acts of unbecoming Homo Sapiens
The Delhi case is presently at the investigation stage, and many of the aspects related to Anthropology/Human Behaviour needs to be scrutinised with a critical mindset to arrive at many of the abstract attributes. The Delhi Police is likely to contact the dating site which is headquartered in Texas, USA to get answers to many questions related to the profile and its social behaviour. The investigators will also be interested in ascertaining whether Aftab had many such girls on the social media and if he might have brought more women to home and if they have any connection to the murder, including the psychological aspect.
The Delhi Police sources told ANI: “Delhi Police may write to Bumble to get details of Aftab’s profile to find details of women who visited him in his house when Shraddha’s body was still in the refrigerator. Police are looking at the possibility if any of these women could be a reason behind this killing,”.
Bumble Dating App is available in India and as per statistics of 2021, there were over 45 million users globally. Bumble entered the Indian market in 2018. The founder of Bumble, Whitney Wolfe Herd, said that revenue in India has “doubled year over year,” “India remains a notable highlight and revenue in India more than doubled year over year,” Herd, who is also the chief executive officer (CEO) of the dating app, said in a statement. Bumble Inc has reported revenue of $232.6 million for the July to September 2022 quarter.
Is the Bumble App Inc answerable to the LEA and is the app anyway responsible for any of the act the suspect (in this case) executed. Many such questions including the need for such Apps/Websites for the Indian Population, can never provide a conclusive answer.
Facts About Dating App/WebSites
As per latest estimates, over half of the Indian adult population are holding a smart phone, with the ability to use interactive Apps/Services related to Social Media. India today, is at the cusp of the technology growth, and hence has a growing number of older adults using online dating sites and apps to meet new people. Interestingly, one study cited by McWilliams and Barrett (2014) found that men see online dating as a way to quickly jump back into dating following the end of a relationship through death or divorce, whereas women use online sites as a way to ease into the idea of dating again.
As analysed by “Cyber Secure India”, there are both positives and negatives associated with online dating. It is important to be aware of them in order to make an informed decision of whether to use or not use such services.
Some of these apps allow the user to create their profile through the credential on Instagram/Twitter/Google/FaceBook accounts. Most of these services do not mandate a KYC, hence the legitimacy of the user is never established. Also, the tracing of users become difficult.
Among a few of the dangers, is the aspect of being ‘adversely branded’. Most of these online services, provide for posting of feedback on the psychological makeup and the behavioural attributes of the counterpart, based on the relationship/interaction. This feature is again online and is allowed to be posted/populated without any verification or authentication from those who enter the data or the affected person. This feature or facility is offered by many of these Dating Apps/Website online. This then lead to negative influence and ends up in vindictive attitude, sometimes ending up in mud sledging and physical abuse/murders.
The Positives and Negatives of Dating App/WebSites
There are many a Good’s and Bad’s of Dating App/WebSites. Nevertheless, in this age of technology, there is no end to such services, and for the fact that, at most confidentiality can be availed by the users. Some of the positives include: feeling of inclusiveness, gaining new friends and having a sense of safety and control. However, some of the drawbacks to dating online include: the time, effort, lack of success, unwanted sexual messages, and the risk of people misrepresentation. It is important to evaluate the accruable, positives and negatives and then one needs to take a call for oneself if this approach to meeting people is worth it or is the option safe/unsafe for oneself: –
- Finding more people to interact, especially for bachelors, divorced, retirees, likeminded, etc.
- Feeling Inclusive when one finds people to socialise when the physical world reject people.
- Feeling of being Secure, when the relationship provides for security from the normal aspect of vulnerability in the online mode.
- A platform for friendship and sharing.
- Safety is one aspect that the Online Service provides, as these platforms offer privacy and choice of restraint.
- Lack of Success, if one is not able to befriend a partner, does cause feeling of negativity and inferiority. This also leads to frustration and drives people to extremes.
- Unpleasant experience, also leads to mistrust and negative conditioning on many users.
- Misrepresentations, is a common complaint and the fact that may become victims of this aspect.
- Time spent is sometimes seen as a futile exercise. The competitive nature of online dating requires regularly updating one’s profile and responding to messages, which was seen by some as a negative of online dating.
- Difficulty to Withdraw. Users have found it difficult to withdraw from relationships or from the services (app/website) itself, due to many reasons like Addiction and Stigmatisation (or even threat to life) among others.
- Unpleasant message exchange, and sexual messages cause discomfort or lead to offences and violations. People who do not intent sexual contacts may sometimes find exchange of personal one-is-to-one sexual messaging uncomfortable.