Love in the Time of Uber Ratings

Love and Sex

Love in the Time of Uber Ratings

Illustration: Akshita Monga

After ensuring that #NoNewFriends transforms into a legit catch phrase and having made flat stomachs great again, us millennials have set our sights on mainstreaming our next conquest: Uber ratings.

The idea is take a totally harmless app feature like Uber ratings, where drivers and passengers rate each other after the end of a seemingly random trip, and exploit it as a pickup move, proof of someone’s character, and also a way to seek validation. If there’s one thing we’ve learnt as millennials, it’s that literally anything in this world can be turned into a competition. Cue “My rating is higher than yours” comebacks.

Tinder for instance, is now littered with numerous bios of bros displaying their Uber rating with a level of pride similar to what Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay must have felt when they conquered Mount Everest back in 1953. It’s both a declaration of their coolness, and a hint directed at their potential matches. For the dudes modest enough to not put their ratings upfront on their bios, their first question after being notified of a match is usually: “What’s your Uber rating?” It’s essentially the millennial update to Govinda’s “What is mobile number?” It’s not as if dating was hard in the first place anyway.

What’s your Uber rating?” is essentially the millennial update to Govinda’s “What is mobile number?”

Anyway, the rules are simple. If you’re anything below 4.7, it’s now a universal truth that you’re an uncool and uncouth person. After all, if you have managed to piss off a driver whose only aim is to ensure you reach home or work safely and in time, then shit’s gotten too real. Maybe you had puked in your ride one drunken night, or ghosted an Uber driver after booking it, or straight-up cancelled your ride right after your driver reached your location like a heartless monster. It may have seemed like an inconsequential action at the time, but we (including your potential matches) will inadvertently take it as a sign of you being a garbage human being. Who’s to know you won’t do the same with our hearts?

The 4.8s’ are then the cool kids. They’re the ones whose table you want to sit at, and whose hand you want to hold. These are the bros getting all the action, and ones who are afforded the luxury of left swipes. The whole world wants them anyway. Just yesterday, a friend confided in me about being unmatched by a girl on Tinder after she was made aware that his Uber rating is just 4.68. He was heartbroken at her sudden cold behaviour because they were just hitting it off, and he, for the life of him, couldn’t fathom how a girl could outright reject him without having even seen any of his flaws. But that’s the thing — she didn’t need to, because as the popular saying goes, “You can tell a lot about a person by their Uber rating.”

But when all is said and done, you have to give it up for us millennials. Our rebellious quotient is so high that we are ready to ignore our instincts and let one feature of a transportation app decide who we go on a date with. Maybe next year, we’ll depend on our neighbourhood bhajiwalas to tell us which dude buys the necessary amount of greens, and don’t bargain like a basic Sarojini dweller. If falling in love wasn’t hard enough, now we have ratings to fight against. Because in this new dating world, which is starting to eerily feel more like Black Mirror, feelings are as useless as Uday Chopra in any film.