Experiments & Repercussions Of Using “Hot Or Not”
Recently, I came across an Instagram post, which asked followers about their first online relationship. It made me reminisce a not so revered recollection of my teenage years. I had downloaded an app called “hot or not”! Yes, believe me, it was a thing. Perhaps still is.
In addition, yes, my adolescence was so miserably boring that the idea of entertainment became whiling away time on an app where people objectify you. Long story short, I met a guy and started talking to him and eventually ended up in a relationship.
In the beginning, neither of us were serious about this so-called relationship. Let’s be real here. What could this “hot or not” relationship really amount to? Was I looking for meaningless sex or a fulfilled healthy relationship? It could not have been meaningless sex because he was from a different state and the distance mostly allowed it to be a platonic relationship. Maybe the idea of receiving comforting attention without any particular commitment was too appealing.
This relationship was a secret and I never really spoke about it to my friends, except my best friend. How could I? Dating in its entirety is frown upon by our society; let alone finding a person online and forging a relationship with him.
He flew down to the city for my birthday and I recall being positively shocked. Why would someone I barely know come all the way for me? That was the only instance I met him in person.
And Because It Happened Via An Application…
Eventually, things got to a point where we would have conversations about marriage.
I hate to admit it, but the idea of spending the rest of my life with him was reassuring and convenient. But, for there is always a but, the fear of admitting that I met my partner on an app kept me emotionally distant from this relationship.
How do I justify this fear? Is this fear a masked feeling of desperation to not be labelled as a social pariah?
In retrospect, I find this experience quite amusing, but when we really think about it, how much are we letting the phrase “log kya kahenge” affect our choices? What if, we ignore this dreaded phrase and make choices of our own?
Having said that, in recent years we have witnessed people who have chosen to adopt a lifestyle that does not necessarily agree with society. I think we have transitioned from the obsolete, stringent school of thought to a much broader and tolerable one. With the onset of a subversive group of people in our society, who began to disagree with the existing norms, there came a disguised revolution. A revolution where disagreeing to the norms and exploring new ones became socially acceptable.
Despite this transformation, why do we still cling to the idea that if we choose to forego the conventional norms, we might end up as outcasts?
The experience I had was more of a mildly distressed epiphany as opposed to a rude awakening. In the future, should I have to choose between my mind/heart and “log kya kahenge”-my response would be “log toh kahenge, logo ka kaam hai kehna.”
FYI, for those who are wondering what happened to my “hot or not” person. Yes, we still talk and no, we are not romantically involved!