New Delhi: If 2019 had us face-palming at the state of the world, and 2020 had us shrugging with uncertainty about the future, 2021 is the year we exchanged and adapted to oscillating highs and lows. From sharing a collective look, to a common appreciation for simple meet-cutes or keeping it real with vax mentions, Dating platform, Tinder’s Gen Z members showed they were authentically themselves as they looked to connect with new people in 2021.
2021 was a side-eye kind of year
While millions of emojis were used in the apps bios, one rising star really caught our attention: the Side eye saw a whopping 40 percent increase in usage in bios globally, as members showed a mixed bag of optimism and skepticism throughout the year. Further, Indian Gen Z used a range of emotions they experienced in 2021 with emojis.
Gen Z enjoyed both virtual meet-cutes and post-vax IRL dates. Video dates have turned into a first date staple for singletons with mentions of ‘video call’ in bios growing by 52 per cent globally. A significant number of Indians took to video dating on Tinder where Hyderabad reigned supreme as the chattiest video dating city, followed closely by Chennai and Bengaluru.
Yet, Gen Z was also looking to make a connection with new people close to them for real life hangouts with ‘nearby’ and ‘close by’ both increasing by 20 per cent in bios globally, showing that the IRL world isn’t going out of fashion anytime soon when it comes to dating.
First date ideas ranged from cozy to outdoorsy.
First date drinks are officially outdated! In 2021, we also learned that first dates have become more about activities than icebreakers. Daters are picking more interesting, unique first date activities that help them really get to know each other. The platform saw a 2X increase in mentions of ‘long walks’ in bios and requests for date activities from cycling to taking a pottery class in bios. When asked about first date go to plans, “picnic in a park” and ‘a virtual movie night’ were both popular choices made by members in India.
Being vaxxed became a (dating) flex
In a year when getting vaxxed was the first thing on the date prep checklist, sharing the post-vaccine lifestyle on their bios made Gen Z feel safer to meet someone. As vaccination drives accelerated locally between February and August 2021, mentions of ‘Vaccinated’ in bios in India grew by 40x as members advocated for vaccine status as a dating essential.
Small gestures made it big
It’s the smallest of favours that make a date a favourite. Mentions of ‘small things’ increased by 30 per cent year on year in bios as members shared their appreciation for the little joys in life. Our Indian Tinder members settled on small gestures such as ‘getting them coffee’ or ‘complimenting their outfits’ as ones that would make their day. ‘Warm hugs’ made Gen Z feel loved and fuzzy and a ‘new ping from a match’ was guaranteed to bring a huge smile to the majority of members.
Dating anthems were all kinds of feels
With music being the top interest shared amongst members globally, what songs members choose to display on their profile told us a lot about their mood. The raw emotions of Olivia Rodgrio’s good4u and Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber’s STAY ranked as chart-toppers in bios in 2021. Following them closely were Indian Punjabi favourites like AP Dhillon’s Brown Munde and Lover by Diljit Dosanjh.