From equality to climate change, India’s Gen Z is all about dating with a cause on Tinder

Swipe right if you see rainbows.
Swipe right if you see rainbows.
Image: AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade
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India’s Gen Z isn’t interested in just any pretty face that pops up on their dating app. They’re daters with a cause.

Terms such as “environment,” “equality,” and “climate change” trended on Tinder bios in India among people aged between 18 and 25. This age group was the largest cohort on Tinder India in 2019, according to the company.

“…the next generation of daters doesn’t use woke in their bios lightly. 2019 not only saw matches, but also marches,” Tinder India said in a press release. “The environment was the number one mentioned cause-related word on Tinder; blame it on the AQI (air quality index), or activists around the world, but words that hinted Gen Z is advocacy-driven were trending in Tinder bios in 2019.”

The environment featured prominently in users’ bios in a year marked by increasing global consciousness around the climate emergency. India’s Gen Z on Tinder echoed the popularity of Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future marches to speak out against global inaction against the crisis in their profiles.

Closer to home, air quality in northern India deteriorated yet again this year. During November, pollution levels in the national capital region touched hazardous levels, forcing schools to shut and raising health alarms all over the country. Indian students took to the streets in New Delhi, both in solidarity with Thunberg and to demand government action locally.

Besides, young Indians placed great emphasis on principles like equality. The mention of Section 377 in Tinder India profiles signals a positive change after the colonial-era law criminalising homosexual acts was overturned in 2018. According to the company, there was a 30% increase in the number of Indian users who opted for its “More Genders” feature in 2019 after the landmark ruling.

Tinder Moments

Young Indians on Tinder continued to be with it in 2019. Almost every global entertainment trend of 2019 found its way into Tinder bios in India.

While global phenoms like Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame, and K-pop sensation BTS dominated the list, Indian entertainment spectacles like Sacred Games and Gully Boy, Mumbai-based rapper Divine, and singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad were not far behind.

Among the major events that transfixed young Tinder users in India, the 2019 Cricket World Cup, the 2019 general elections, and Indian space exploration seem to have been the most captivating.

“How’s the josh,” the popular catchphrase from 2019’s Bollywood movie, Uri: The Surgical Strike, also made the list after going viral on social media and even being referenced by prime minister Narendra Modi.