Do you live online?

What would you do buy or not buy online? Are netizens opening up to the possibility of meeting someone special on the net?

For most people who grew up in the pre internet era, a usual family ritual every week would be a visit to the neighbourhood market, with your parents buying and stocking up vegetables and groceries, with a quick dash to the bank to encash salary cheques and draw out money to make payments for utilities. Vacations meant withdrawing huge sums of cash and storing it in different bags just to be sure. In this time and age, all this can be done at the touch of a button. ATM’s have sprouted everywhere and dispense cash readily. Banking transactions are more easily conducted online and you can buy vegetables, groceries, clothes and books online. A slew of online applications also let you find a ‘perfect match’ while many others are ready to dispense medical advice and medicines all at the click of a mouse. However, not everything is hunky dory in this world. It throws up many questions. Are people ready to purchase everything online? Would you be interested in choosing your life partner on a random website? Are you ready to take medication from a stranger online? Metroplus asked readers about what they would buy online and what they would not.

Abhinav M, a software professional is at ease with online banking transactions and buying clothes, books and sports goods online. “I do not have to stand in long q’s in banks for paying my bills and rents. I can do all that from my computer. I also buy stuff online as it saves me time and energy. The reviews of these products online ensures that I can make a better choice.”

He adds, “Of course, since everything is accessible online, it makes me collect random books and collectibles, I would never buy in the real world. I am also apprehensive about online dating and taking medical advice from strangers. I would much rather meet people in real life rather than online.”

Shika Pandey, another computer engineer agrees, “I like to do stuff online that reduces my effort. I am very apprehensive about dating apps and sites since it is full of shady men, who are just looking to have a good time and not a serious relationship. I would much rather meet someone face to face and decide on whether to go out with them. People do not like to be themselves online. Everyone wants to appear cool and well read.”

This is a view that Sumesh Menon, CEO and Co-founder of U2opia Mobile which runs Woo, an app that aims at giving users a chance to connect with single people in their city sharing their interests. Menon says, “We are serious about only letting people looking for a relationship in. We use many filters and software algorithms to ensure that the shady bunch is kept out.”

He adds, “Trust is very important for anything online and we have put in enough safeguards to ensure that the trust is not breached. It is a step ahead of people posting on online matrimonial sites for a life partner.”

For marketing professional Sameer Chugh, such apps are very interesting. “I am not very sold on the idea of meeting people online and ending up with them. I am a very old fashioned person. However, I would much rather try this out than seeing my pictures in a classified column in a newspaper.

He adds, “I am wary of buying vegetables and groceries online. It does not feel quite right to order vegetables without seeing their quality or their freshness. I use the net to pay my utility bills also.”

Click here to read the coverage as it appeared on (The Hindu)


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