Caught in the net
Two decades of the Internet have changed the way we love, romance, and hook up. From urban millennials to rural women, Gen Z to the gay community, Lounge explores the new normal
The Internet has been around for over two decades in India. A whole generation has grown up not knowing life without it. From forging friendships to seeking out information, from being stalked or bullied to getting involved in social activism—every experience for these digital natives has been had in the new normal: the digital age.
The stories that follow attempt to address what this has been like. Disha Mullick and Kavita (who uses only her first name), both associated with Khabar Lahariya, a digital news organization run by rural women in Uttar Pradesh, offer a snapshot of three women’s experiences chatting with strangers on WhatsApp and Facebook. Nisha Susan, co-founder of the online women’s magazine, The Ladies Finger, meets 18- to 21-year-olds—the post-millennial Generation Z—to find out the role Snapchat and Facebook play in their lives. Danish Sheikh, a lawyer and Grindr user, explores new cities and modern anxieties through the gay-dating app. Film journalist Suprateek Chatterjee writes about the way Indian films, the big purveyors of romance, have acknowledged our digital age. And Indu Harikumar, the artist behind the popular #100IndianTinderTales, draws her own tale out for us—a chance meeting through Tinder in a foreign country.
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