Culture & Society

Outlook's Next Issue: Love In The Time Of Algorithms

Ahead of Valentine’s Day, Outlook’s next issue explores the many kinds of love, from online dating for the youth and dating for the elderly to otherworldly and unrequited love

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In the 21st century, your parents might not be the only ones to decide who you will spend the rest of your life with, rather, it would be done by an algorithm. Technology is changing the way we meet people, date and find love. 

Studies show that India emerged as the 5th fastest-growing market in terms of year-over-year growth in dating app spending in 2022. While there is no dearth of real love stories churning out of dating apps, there are subtle references to the caste and class system that Indian society is replete with. Then do such platforms become yet another extension of our exclusionary society, where inter-caste marriages are still frowned upon?

Surely, there are numerous ways of finding love in the time of algorithms. You can swipe right and left over potential partners, or rent a boyfriend for two hours, or if all else fails in the real world, you can find a date in virtual reality! But in a country like India, where crime rates against women reach a new high every few years, is it that easy to find love that you can trust online? 

The promise of an escape from reality has led people down a path of financial fraud, assault, and emotional deception. Not just in India. In United Kingdom, the British Police are investigating the alleged gang rape of a girl in the metaverse – a virtual world with digital avatars of real users. 

Ahead of Valentine’s Day, Outlook’s next issue explores the many kinds of love, from online dating for the youth and dating for the elderly to otherworldly and unrequited love. The issue will also look at how the concept of love has evolved at a time when the divide between communities of different faith is widened by politics.

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