As more chilling details of the grisly Shraddha Walkar murder unfold, the dark side of dating apps has come to the fore. Aaftab Poonawala met Shraddha through the dating app Bumble in Mumbai before moving to Delhi. In fact, shortly after Shraddha’s death, Aaftab once again signed up for the same dating app and matched with another woman. His match from the dating app visited his flat often—even while Shraddha’s body parts lay dumped in the fridge.
Psychologist Dr Shweta Sharma said the unthinkable incident is bound to increase fear and mistrust among the users of online dating apps. She said one needs to understand the red flags in a relationship, like aggression, and manipulation. Speaking about the cultural aspect of online dating apps, Sharma said that the concept of dating doesn’t mean that you are going to get married to a similar person. And that is the biggest conflict inside an adult mind.
Against the backdrop of the recent killing, fear and mistrust of using the app and uncertainty about the person’s mentality will prevail. The impact is going to be massive, mostly in a negative manner. But there’s no gainsaying the fact that dating apps are here to stay and one just needs a certain degree of precaution to stay safe.
This is not the first time online dating apps have come under the social radar. A jaw-dropping Netflix documentary titled Tinder Swindler, released earlier this year, shed light on the dark side of online dating.
Even though the Shraddha murder case has forced dating apps to come under scanner yet again, it would be wrong to call such apps the sole villain of the piece. There’s an element of affordability, convenience and flexibility that make these apps a huge draw. We all crave human connection. We all need companionship. And these apps help us match up with thousands of potential life partners and people who can become friends. In today’s world when time is a big constraint, these apps do give one a chance to meet people of similar interests and mindsets without any hassle.
It all depends on the discretion of the user on how to go about it.
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