Valentine's Day

50 Dates in Delhi’s quick and easy guide to online dating

The popular blogger lists the strict dos and don'ts.

I have been dating online and, well, living a lot of my life online (in a totally non-creepy way) for about 10 years. At different times in my life I have wanted different things from the internet, and the internet has become different things in this period. Over the years one thing has stayed the same: sometimes the internet is the only way to find people who can relate to you.

This, to me, is at the heart of online dating, especially if you are in your thirties. Sometimes the only way you can meet someone, however fleetingly, and have a conversation which gives the overwhelming relief that “Somebody gets it!” is by going online. But most people think online dating is a dirty secret, or that if they cannot find people to connect with in real life, the internet is really not the answer. And dear me, the creepy people out there! It is no wonder people are nervous. But here is the thing: online dating is neither hard nor creepy. It is not that different from offline dating.

So what do you need to do to survive online? Well, for starters, to quote The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, don’t panic. Really. Don’t. The internet is anonymous. This is wildly terrifying, especially if you have gone and put a trussed up picture of yourself on FetLife and you suddenly realise your boss could see it. But remember, for the boss to see it, the boss also has to be on FetLife and is probably also nervous about you seeing him there. So take a deep breath and relax.

You can always walk away

Second, don’t be ashamed. Practically everything we do is online or device related these days – why shouldn’t you meet people there? Especially if there is no way to meet people offline, which tends to happen once you leave college. By the time you are 30, nearly all your friends are married, the new people you do wind up meeting are usually not single or, worse, they are single for a reason.

But online, you can find someone who lives right around the corner and loves the same part of the same obscure Pearl Jam song that you do. And, best of all, if this person turns out to be someone you do not like, you can walk away. Also, consider this. If you walk around in a cloud of shame online saying things like “don’t tell anyone” you are basically broadcasting this message: looking online for dates is shady and I judge myself for it and so you, who are also online looking for dates, are shady and I judge you. And nobody wants to date someone who is judging them from the get go. So don’t be ashamed.

Third, because it is the internet and it is anonymous and subversive, people do display their hidden sides, so be prepared. How often will a guy you meet at a party ask you, within twenty minutes of hi, where you would like a guy to come? Practically never. So yes, there is a lot more sex in the online air than there is in the offline air, but this does not mean men are animals and all they want is sex. It is just that online, because you are not meeting in person, people say and do things they would not in person. When you do not like what someone says, disengage politely. Block and move on.

Don't give away too much

How do you handle all the strange guys who say weird things or write to you insistently demanding that you reply? The key is to be clear about what you will put up with. Before you can be clear with someone else though, you have got to be clear with yourself. For example, if the perfect guy for you is blowing hot and cold, you have to understand that he is just not interested in dating you, so goodbye. Which I know is ridiculously difficult to do. Other times it is easy. One guy claimed he wanted to get to know me and then proceeded to ask me question after question about sex, so I told him I had had enough since I could not quite see how what sexual positions I like was going to help him know me better. He vanished. He was clearly horny and looking for entertainment.

Fourth, be open. People are afraid that they will give negative people more access to themselves by going online and this is true, especially for women. When I set up my OKC profile I had five emails on a completely empty profile in the time it took for my inbox to load. But the fact is that when you are online and a nutjob turns up, you block him and move on. While it is true that the anonymity afforded by the internet makes people behave in ways they would not offline, this does not mean they are wholly horrible, or that offline people are not horrible. A ranting or creepy stranger online is still just online, unless of course you have given away where you live or what you do or anything in detail.

Which brings me to fifth. Don’t be stupid. Do not meet people at home, yours or theirs. Always meet in public places, in malls or crowded markets. If you are nervous, go to a restaurant you have frequented, where they know you. It might make you feel better to tell a friend about the date, where you are meeting, what his name is, what he does. Do not have more than two drinks. In time you will stop needing all this because your instincts will kick in.

Be polite and follow your instincts

Which is why I say, sixth, trust your gut. You have been living in this world for a while; you have got people instincts. Never mind the fear that you might have missed the love of your life. Trust me, your gut is right. All you have missed is a boring date.

Seventh, while doing all this, always be kind. I cannot stress this enough. We are just programmed into thinking of dating as a war, but how can it be a war when men and women both want the same outcome –partnership? We are on the same side. Be kind. Be polite. If you cannot be polite, quietly block the person and move on. If you can, just say, “Hey, I’m sorry, I don’t want to go out with you. Good luck.” And then block the person. Though, to be fair, I only block them when they refuse to take no for an answer.

As for me, what has my online journey been like? I met several wonderful guys, many of whom remain beloved friends today. I went on a few dates – no second dates. I got some action. I learned that I did not want to hook up with random people. I figured out that I have (possibly ridiculously) high standards and I am ok sticking by them. I found out that people are just people: they lie, cheat, flatter, cajole, care, invest, love, reject – makes no damn difference whether it is online or offline.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Not just for experts: How videography is poised for a disruption

Digital solutions are making sure it’s easier than ever to express your creativity in moving images.

Where was the last time you saw art? Chances are on a screen, either on your phone or your computer. Stunning photography and intricate doodles are a frequent occurrence in the social feeds of many. That’s the defining feature of art in the 21st century - it fits in your pocket, pretty much everyone’s pocket. It is no more dictated by just a few elite players - renowned artists, museum curators, art critics, art fair promoters and powerful gallery owners. The digital age is spawning creators who choose to be defined by their creativity more than their skills. The negligible incubation time of digital art has enabled experimentation at staggering levels. Just a few minutes of browsing on the online art community, DeviantArt, is enough to gauge the scope of what digital art can achieve.

Sure enough, in the 21st century, entire creative industries are getting democratised like never before. Take photography, for example. Digital photography enabled everyone to capture a memory, and then convert it into personalised artwork with a plethora of editing options. Apps like Instagram reduced the learning curve even further with its set of filters that could lend character to even unremarkable snaps. Prisma further helped to make photos look like paintings, shaving off several more steps in the editing process. Now, yet another industry is showing similar signs of disruption – videography.

Once burdened by unreliable film, bulky cameras and prohibitive production costs, videography is now accessible to anyone with a smartphone and a decent Internet bandwidth. A lay person casually using social media today has so many video types and platforms to choose from - looping Vine videos, staccato Musical.lys, GIFs, Instagram stories, YouTube channels and many more. Videos are indeed fast emerging as the next front of expression online, and so are the digital solutions to support video creation.

One such example is Vizmato, an app which enables anyone with a smartphone to create professional-looking videos minus the learning curve required to master heavy, desktop software. It makes it easy to shoot 720p or 1080p HD videos with a choice of more than 40 visual effects. This fuss- free app is essentially like three apps built into one - a camcorder with live effects, a feature-rich video editor and a video sharing platform.

With Vizmato, the creative process starts at the shooting stage itself as it enables live application of themes and effects. Choose from hip hop, noir, haunted, vintage and many more.

The variety of filters available on Vizmato
The variety of filters available on Vizmato

Or you can simply choose to unleash your creativity at the editing stage; the possibilities are endless. Vizmato simplifies the core editing process by making it easier to apply cuts and join and reverse clips so your video can flow exactly the way you envisioned. Once the video is edited, you can use a variety of interesting effects to give your video that extra edge.

The RGB split, Inset and Fluidic effects.
The RGB split, Inset and Fluidic effects.

You can even choose music and sound effects to go with your clip; there’s nothing like applause at the right moment, or a laugh track at the crack of the worst joke.

Or just annotated GIFs customised for each moment.

Vizmato is the latest offering from Global Delight, which builds cross-platform audio, video and photography applications. It is the Indian developer that created award-winning iPhone apps such as Camera Plus, Camera Plus Pro and the Boom series. Vizmato is an upgrade of its hugely popular app Game Your Video, one of the winners of the Macworld Best of Show 2012. The overhauled Vizmato, in essence, brings the Instagram functionality to videos. With instant themes, filters and effects at your disposal, you can feel like the director of a sci-fi film, horror movie or a romance drama, all within a single video clip. It even provides an in-built video-sharing platform, Popular, to which you can upload your creations and gain visibility and feedback.

Play

So, whether you’re into making the most interesting Vines or shooting your take on Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’, experience for yourself how Vizmato has made video creation addictively simple. Android users can download the app here and iOS users will have their version in January.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Vizmato and not by the Scroll editorial team.