Several online dating websites and mobile applications like Tinder and OkCupid where people aim to find ‘love’ have gained huge success. People seem to enjoy it and condemn it as well. In the case of Indians, the social media websites have turned into dating websites, like Facebook and SnapChat. But ever wonder what it would be like to date in the world of virtual reality? Or how long-distance relationships will be? Let your imagination go wild, as you explore the universe of virtual reality in search of ‘true love,’ or just companionship with a conversation between two friends!
Yet another weekly call from Ma to remind me that it is high time that I ‘settle down’. I had to tell her that I am rushing for my big date, which calmed her a bit . Technically, I didn’t lie. But then looking at myself in a pair of baggy PJs and a bowl of ice cream in my hands makes me dubious. Well, I did have a big date – correction – I have a few big dates. Yes, the socially awkward nerd who doesn’t usually have a date on weekends has four big dates on a hump day. Is it true that the nerds make the world spin?
I am ready for my big date and am sure there won’t be any clashes in the schedule. I checked up the timings once again. My first date (I like the sound of it) would be online already. I put on my gear, reach the dating site and I finally discover a utopia where I don’t have to brood over that sicko of an ex.
‘So how did it go?’ my roomie Reena asked, who is just back from her own date; the old fashioned one. I felt satisfied, to say the least, there were no major mishaps – I didn’t break anything, didn’t trip and didn’t get drunk – I could term it as a personal achievement of sorts! Probably that is not what she is asking about. ‘How were the guys?’ she prods to get me back to the reality. ‘Oh they were fine and dandy’ I reply off-handedly. ‘Tell me more! It is the first time you got to meet a new guy in the past six months’.
There she goes on to strike where it hurts the most. She could sense what I feel like and jump on to the obvious next question. ‘At least tell me about this Virtual Dating that you tried today’.
‘X, the first guy, is a software engineer. We met each other at the beach, virtually of course’, I respond. Some things are better left unsaid. ‘You don’t seem enthused. What is the matter?’ Reena apparently isn’t one who believes that line. ‘He had mentioned he was a fitness freak. But he didn’t have to show off his knowledge on health so much. He kept quoting the calorie count of every edible item we saw. He didn’t leave out even the goddamn fish that was being exhibited in a store nearby’ I complain out of exasperation.
‘You mean you guys spent time at the virtual beach, then hung out the shops and were able to see the ornamental fishes there, all that sitting on this couch? Wow, now that is what I would call science’, she exclaims without even paying heed what I was saying.
‘My second date was with Aero, a pilot.’
‘Woo!’ exclaims Reena.
‘Pfft, hear me out. We had already agreed to go to the disc. He almost did all the talking and boy, what a creep he turned out to be. His appearance was that of a ‘wanna-be’ trying so hard to act the age, he claimed on his profile. I hardly doubt that was true. He not only forced his way into the disc but ended up ogling every other female in there. He called it as keeping his options open and scouting his next date. Thankfully I didn’t have to meet this guy in person’.
‘At least with the third time you got lucky?’
‘My third date of the evening was with Bookworm123, as the name shouts, books are a mutual interest we share. We obviously met at the er em, library, and spoke about our TBR collections and had a debate on paperbacks vs e-readers. We also discovered that we had a preference for the same games, so we’ll be hanging out at the virtual arena soon.’ I added, ‘TBR is To be read book collections’ seeing her blank expression. Reena rolled her eyes and commented under her breath ‘nerds’.
‘So, is it, him? Are you smitten?’
‘We have agreed to meet in person, but that might take a while given that he is in Russia’ I quip. “What? Did you go on a date with someone in Russia? Are you outta your mind? Do you realize this date was futile?’ she was on a roll and taking on my Ma’s role here.
But hey, isn’t this why I didn’t ‘actually’ go out with any of them? You know, try before you buy, right? Maybe next time I go for a date and I end up liking him I can gift him Tenga’s virtual reality contraption!
Reena stood agape.
Long-distance dating and relationships can become much easier now as all five human senses are digitally simulated to create a full-sensory virtual reality. It’s not the same old torture of not being able to be next to that person or the struggle of not seeing something from each other’s perspective. With virtual reality, we can be in the comfort zone of our homes and explore!
Websites with an experience of dating in the universe of virtual reality have already come into existence and seem to be redefining the basics of relationship and dating just the way online dating did.
Websites like Cyborg Dating have introduced something basic as taking a walk in the virtual forest, we are yet to explore what the virtual world is capable of! Till 2040, instead of going with the ancient way of ‘opposites attract’ your match will be tracked for you, according to similar behaviour pattern and lifestyle, as the Virtual World will dive deeper into your life and who you are in reality. Your smart eye contact lenses will detect what kind of people you like checking out and find you a match according to that! Isn’t it so much better than matching horoscopes?
However, Virtual Reality can get much more creepy than online dating; imagine having to date someone who has an imaginary identity in the virtual world, which is completely different from who they are offline. So are you ready to take the leap?