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Unpacking the ideas and trends shaping Asia’s future
Technology has infiltrated nearly every aspect of our lives. But how is it changing the way we love? Let’s take a Deep Dive.

😍 In 2021, technology shapes every aspect of our love lives. Tech helps us find love, express it, maintain it, seal it and even fall out of it.

🌐 Technology has moved beyond video calls and text messages to help us stay connected. Even if we're continents apart from our partner, we can still watch a movie together, surprise them with a gift, or even ask them to marry us in a game.

🤳 Even live streaming your wedding ceremony has become a trend since the coronavirus outbreak, while divorces are being made less stressful with platforms that take partners through the whole process virtually. For some, technology is even taking the place of a human lover.
"Just because you can’t touch somebody does not mean that you can’t fall in love with them."
4.9% Globally, the online dating sector's user penetration will likely reach 4.9 percent in 2021—and is only expected to increase further.

US$6 billion Dating app Bumble is aiming for a nearly US$6 billion valuation in its upcoming IPO.

1994 The world’s first virtual reality wedding took place in 1994 when a couple got married at CyberMind Virtual Reality Center in San Francisco, where the bride worked.

7 million Within the first month of its launch, Love and Producer, a Chinese mobile dating simulation game, racked up 7 million downloads.
According to a survey, what percentage of women in long-term relationships feel their phone is interfering with their love life?

A. 35 percent
B. 55 percent
C. 75 percent

Scroll to the bottom of the email for the answer.
When China was in lockdown last year, one Hangzhou couple decided to live stream their wedding on video streaming platform Bilibili. Their ceremony was attended by more than 100,000 guests, and their video has since been viewed more than 5 million times.
📱 Social media is the new dating platform. On r/LongDistance, a Reddit community with some 297,000 members in long-distance relationships, it’s common to read stories of couples who met and started dating using different social media platforms.     

👰 You may kiss the bride—in VR. Getting legally married in a virtual world may be the future of weddings, especially for geographically challenged couples. All you need is a VR headset.  

👾 Dating sims are big business. This genre of game, where people cultivate intimacy with virtual characters, has attracted millions of users worldwide, despite attracting criticism as a sign of growing social isolation.

👀 Online dating platforms are taking matching to the next level. By analysing the DNA of users, some platforms believe they can predict attraction and make better matches.
How might dating apps evolve in the future? The Black Mirror episode Hang the DJ suggests a possible way: an AI-powered app that gives daters a fixed amount of time to find a compatible partner, which can vary from minutes to years.
Peter Rubin
Peter Rubin is a thought leader on how technology is changing human relationships. In 2018 he published a book called Future Presence: How Virtual Reality Is Changing Human Connection, Intimacy, and the Limits of Ordinary Life.
Joseph Phua
Tech entrepreneur Joseph Phua co-founded Paktor in 2013 to provide a dating platform that caters to Asians. Today, the app has more than 20 million users across eight countries.
Ever been guilty of using your phone while at dinner with your partner? There’s a term to describe this phenomenon: “phubbing”. A portmanteau of “phone” and “snubbing”, it describes the act of ignoring the person you are with and looking at your phone instead.
That’s it for this issue. Have a productive week!

This issue of the Deep Dive was written by Chong Seow Wei, with design and illustration by Francesca Gamboa.

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The answer to the quiz is C (75 percent).
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