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From the printing press to smartphone applications, people have long sought ways to utilize technology to find love. Therefore, in recent years, attitudes about dating apps and services have shifted from negative to positive. In fact, internet dating is so popular that 53 percent of individuals have gotten on board the bandwagon and made their own accounts, according to Match.com. As per popular beliefs, it increases the likelihood that a user would like the person they meet on a date (since they can search for people who fit certain criteria), and, according to online dating services, a rising percentage of people are now forming long and meaningful relationships online.
Although online dating might sound like a recent phenomenon, its underlying notion isn’t.
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Evolution of online dating
In the year 1685, the first recorded personal advertisements appear in a British agricultural magazine. Then in 1910, when advertisements were more widely accepted, “lonely warriors” from World War I and ladies connected through personal advertising. Forward to the year 1959, when an IBM 650 detects similarities between 98 respondents based on a 30-question profile, a Stanford undergraduate initiative becomes the first known computer dating service. The punch cards for participants were not particularly romantic, but the kids received good grades.
In the meantime, new technology was gaining momentum. Operation Match, the world’s first computer dating service, was founded in 1965 by a group of Harvard undergrads. Users could fill out questionnaires and obtain a list of possible matches for $3, a technique that many dating services still utilize.
In the 2000s, countless other websites were established for love and friendship. eHarmony struck the scene in 2000. In 2002, Ashley Madison made her debut. In 2003, Skype was published. It was followed in 2004 by OkCupid and Facebook, then by Badoo and Seeking, and in 2006. In the 2007 Mass Market smartphones reached. Skout and other early dating sites arrived with them. Grindr introduced a new generation of dating services focusing on LGBT in 2009.
With Tinder’s introduction, the recent age of internet dating began. For young singles, mobile applications have become the hottest method to meet. In 2012, Hinge started in 2013 and Bumble launched Coffee Meets Bagel in 2014. There followed a rush of specialized applications and the swipe was the ultimate sign of modern-day dating culture.
Popular dating apps around the world
Many may believe that people just use Tinder everywhere. Well, they are someway correct. Tinder has grown in popularity from the US to nearly every area of the world with more than 50 million global users. Tinder is highly popular in India, Israel, Singapore, Australia, North and Western Europe as well as the United States. Tinder is immensely popular in India.
Badoo, which has more than 400 million members, is one of the most common worldwide dating applications. Like Tinder, Badoo was centered on swiping until recently when a new live video feature was released and swipe-based matches were introduced.
Which countries are using these apps the most?
The USA is the most populous country with online dating services (Around 49 million individuals). This translates to a 14.72% penetration rate. The sector also provides the most income in the country, whereas the market volume is anticipated to reach 674 million dollars in 2021. For some Americans, these platforms have contributed to the establishment of significant links: 12 percent report that they are married or committed to someone they initially met via a dating website or app. All in all, about one quarter (23%) of Americans claim they’ve ever met someone using a dating site or app.
The US is the obvious market leader, but in European nations like Spain (12,83% penetration rate) or France, online dating is also extremely popular (10.18 percent ). Although population use in India and China was lower (2.74% and 5.63%), the sheer magnitude of the population of the nations means that earnings considerably exceed those produced by Europe.
The current study shows that internet dating is more popular among specific demographics – especially younger individuals and lesbian, gay, and bisexual identifiers (LGB). Approximately half or more aged 18 to 29 (55%) and LGB adults (55%) have ever used a dating website or app and approximately 20% in each group indicate that they have married or have been committed to someone they have met on these platforms for the first time. Badoo is used in nearly every country, although it is most common in southern and Eastern Europe, South America, and portions of Southeast Asia.
Despite the fact that we utilize a number of foreign dating apps, one thing is certain: swiping our way to love is a universal pastime. With growing advancements in the field, don’t give up on finding your one true love because technology has your back on this one.
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored and hence promotes some commercial links.)
Last year through the country-wide lockdown showed us what disruptions are all about. This second wave that engulfs our country and subsequently forcing many States into lockdown is indicative of how volatile our days have been and will continue to be, and the importance of taking the challenges of parenting, one day at a time.
As homes turn into WFH office spaces, as bedrooms become make-shift classrooms, as devices are shared and used to communicate, learn and work, parenting in Covid-19 times requires a different mindset. I have been saying this from the first lockdown in March 2020, that Pre pandemic efforts were blessed with an ability to shift some responsibility to the school, the classes that children enrolled themselves in, playdates organized. It is essential to have some ‘personal space’ be it for the children or the adults, but in the lockdown world, the ‘chain’ does not really break and the circle is a continuous series of days that at times may lead to frustration for both the adults and the children caught in that ‘bubble’.
The summer months in this country, do nothing to ‘calm’ nerves either, and as one waits for the cool monsoon months, and things to normalize, the reality of the times is that ‘normalization’ is still a distance away in this marathon called Covid. Therefore, it is important to put all of this in perspective, if we have to approach the next 15-18 months with a sense of purpose and make these months count more than ever.
Acceptance that these times are different and difficult will be a good starting point for parents. Approach it like a ‘forced’ adventure, one that can you in fact control. The priority must be wellness and wellbeing, and attention paid to what you are feeling, and compassion for what your children are experiencing. As adults, our conditioning over a period of time, allows us to ‘manage’ emotions, unfortunately, which children as ‘work-in-progress cannot do, and therefore they need direction and role modeling, tons of patience, and lots of unconditional love.
It sounds easy to pin this down on paper, well, truth to be told, it is not. This navigation is maneuvering a ship through stormy waters, and while there will be calm that eventually happens, the timing is something that remains beyond control; hence it is important to create short-term and long-term goals to keep that ship afloat.
Make Weekday Goals
Every educator has been emphasizing the need to create some sort of routine for your children. Children thrive when given freedom, but remember, they need to structure that in a way that allows them some purpose as well. Over the years, as a mother and an educator, I find that children feel ‘comforted’ when given freedom, but also a direction, a path, and some goals to achieve. It allows them to think and plan and gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility. These could be the fun exercises you lead every Sunday with them after watching their favorite serial. It is important that the environment is relaxed and not rushed, and Sunday works best devoid of work tasks (please keep them away), and their school routines.
Think of this as a ‘contract’ between your child and you and defining the ‘week’s goal’ will help both parties to have clarity and reduce the disappointments that usually arise when a parent ‘expects’ something, and the child has totally missed the point because she/he was not paying attention and does something completely different. This routine would include negotiations on screen time, playtime, study time, reading time, eating time, exercise time, bath time, tidying up time, tv time, etc. I use the word negotiation because this cannot be a one-way street with you dictating what time they should eat, sleep, etc. It involves a dialog and the rationale and explaining your points of you to get their buy-in and being open-minded to their suggestions. As adults, you can navigate this conversation to what you would eventually like it to be, but involving children in a discussion makes them ‘listen’ and also ‘locks’ them in.
The 3 strike rule
Have clear consequences for when the routine is compromised. I do not mean that for half an hour of extra playtime means they are denied their favorite meal. What I mean is that for resistance to give up screen time for extended periods, there must be ‘3 strikes’ after which the child automatically accepts that there will be consequences for ‘pushing’ the deadline cut-off. The importance of being consistent is also a clear sign for the children and must be adhered to. Often parents give in, and this then becomes a battleground when the parents do not want to bend the rules. This approach leads to fewer confrontations, and tears because once the child has consented to something, he/she is aware that there will be consequences and yes, expect some resistance and pleading and sometimes mood swings, but children get over this very quickly when they realize their parents mean business! This is the same moment to get over compared to when there are no rules.
What works in your own family setting
Set your own expectations as a family. I cannot emphasize this. While I am a huge advocator for using social media sensibly, at times I realize parents start to use these comparisons. For that matter even on social chats when parents share notes with each other about their children e what works for your family is unique to your household circumstances and do not make the mistake of thinking it can be modeled along the lines of what someone else is managing. This is a huge trigger point for conflicts in homes, and best to always be appreciative of what others manage, but as a family, you have to set your own goals.
Laughter and plain old ‘monkeying’ around are very important if you have to keep the mood light and lively. This also works wonders for acceptance levels when parents have to set deadlines. A happy, joyful atmosphere is important especially with the kind of overwhelmingly sad news that is reported every day. Your job as a parent is to keep your children safe, and happy and also to keep their morale up. They do not need to know all the facts of the world, as this leads to anxiety which is another trigger point for tantrums as children also get worried and are unable to always express this through words.
Spot signs and addresses them quickly
Knowing the pulse of your children and what works and what does not must be your biggest driving force. Leave the academic goals aside for a moment, know what makes your child happy, what is confusing your child, what is tiring your child, what is difficult for your child and accepting that, you will be able to reach out to different professionals e be it your child’s teacher in a school or a therapist for intervention. When you are not able to manage the emotions as a family, and the sooner you get professional help, the safer it is for your relationship. This could be a behavioral change or an academic dip, or even an emotional indifference, it is very important to spot the signs and address them quickly.
Find some me-time
Ensure that the time you spend with your child involves quality interactions, and also some time for the child to manage independently explaining you have household chores or work tasks or need to connect with the family of friends socially (this is important for them to know so that they also put a price on these relationships). This ‘distancing’ is also healthy, as lockdown times demand every minute of your energy, and as an adult, it is unrealistic to believe you can sustain like a superhuman with the same tenacity. Distancing therefore allows for personal time, which is just the oxygen that your relationship needs. What it also does is that after your personal ‘quotient’ is in a happy place, allow you to give your child all the attention, energy which is the memory they must be left with. Not a parent who is drained with work tasks, and emotional about a friend not well who is leaning on them for support. This passes over to the child who will no doubt exhibit this behavior in time as a response to something you may suggest as a way of ‘acting out. As they say, get the oxygen mask on yourself before you even begin to help those around you!
These are some basic reminders to get you through the months ahead. Remember, no parent has a complete fix on this, and no child is perfectly going to follow all rules and all one can do as a family is making this relationship about communication, mistakes, corrections with some funny and happy memories.
Human minds have been designed in such a way that our focus often goes towards what we do not have, or on what is not going well and seldom on what is going well, or what we have, and that is how worry and fear creep in.
It could be our health, home as a shelter, jobs, children or relationships, surroundings, access to clean food, or nature; there is so much in everyone’s life to offer a little bit of gratitude for every single day. In fact, gratitude is powerful and said to be one of the quickest ways to feel happier.
But what if you are struggling to find things to be grateful for? What if your gratitude doesn’t come easily to you? And even if you do find things to be grateful for like your job or family, what if it isn’t leaving you with a feeling of pleasantness it should ideally. What if you read books on gratitude, but still feel there is a missing piece of the puzzle?
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Sometimes gratitude practice can feel like a struggle, especially in times like today when there are worries and uncertainty all around, and most people complain about how their minds dwell on problems not resolved, opportunities missed out on, relationships lost, promises not kept, poor health, faded dreams, and fears of an uncertain future, regrets, and longings.
Here’s what you can do. Adopt a practice of reflection and then gradually move to gratitude. Reflection is practice when you sit in silence and start reflecting on everything you have in life in detail. You cover the minutest of details like a cup of coffee you received this morning, the way you felt when you woke up, the birds chirp you heard, the compliments you received, the hug you got, the child you saw smiling, the giggle you hear, and so on.
When you begin the process of reflecting, you go into the smallest details of life which are often missed in this fast-paced life. Through deep reflection, we understand and able to think of all these little details of life that matter and that puts us in a position to offer gratitude more easily.
When we mindlessly practice gratitude, it might not work and still leave you feeling incomplete about your practice. So first begin reflecting and while you are in the process of reflecting you will very naturally find so many things come up in your mind that will make you feel thankful for. This will add so much sense and power to your practice. Give it a shot. You have nothing to lose by trying. (IANS/KB)
New research has found that a lot of people who regret indulging in a casual one-night stand continue with the same sexual behavior. According to the researchers, including Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), for the most part, people continue with the same sexual behavior and the same level of regret.
For the study, the team investigated over 500 men and women to find whether sexual regret is functional, that is, whether it contributes to any change in behavior.
The participants in the study, published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, answered a questionnaire about sexual regret two times, at approximately 4-5 month intervals. This approach makes it possible to study changes over shorter periods of time.
Both women and men might regret what they did the last time an opportunity for casual sex arose. But they often regret completely different choices. Women tend to regret having had casual sex more than men. Men, on the other hand, regret not taking advantage of a casual sex opportunity markedly more than women.
According to the researchers, many psychologists assume that regret and other emotions have a function — that they will influence our behavior so that we modify it.
For example, after experiencing negative emotions, we will change our behavior to reduce the risk of having those negative feelings later, the researchers said.
If lamenting works that way, then wouldn’t men more often have casual sex the next time the opportunity arose? And, you would think that women’s regret would lead them to choose better partners, have less frequent casual sex, or try harder to get into steady relationships, the researcher said.
But no, that’s not what happens. The findings from the study show that we don’t learn from what we perceived as a mistake, they added. (IANS/JC)