Why We’re Sending Two People On A Blind Date And Broadcasting It On The Internetby Chiara Atik on September 19, 2011
But our interest and excitement actually goes beyond having an excuse to throw a party.
As purveyors of modern love and chroniclers of dating and relationships, we’re constantly fascinated by how romance works in 2011. And one thing that makes dating different from how our grandparents, or even our parents, did it, is technology.
Obviously, thanks to the advent of technology, people are meeting in new ways. (Have we mentioned we’re a dating site?)
But constant communication — with friends, family, and romantic partners — has changed what it’s like to be on a date.
“Pick you up at 8″ doesn’t quite cut it anymore: we meet online, exchange messages and emails and texts, which are analyzed ad nauseum, before even agreeing to go out. Then we’ll email pictures of outfit options to our friends, and tweet for restaurant suggestions. We’ll text “2 min away!” while approaching the date spot, and excuse ourselves to the bathroom half-way through the date so we can secretly text friends “She’s cute! It’s going well.” When a date is over, we’ll spend the commute home on the phone, going over every detail with a friend. We’ll wait in anticipation for a text at the end of the night –”Had a good time, let’s hang out soon.” — and spend a good portion of the next work day on GChat analyzing everything with anyone who will listen.
Dating used to be a private experience between two people, but what the advent of technology has shown is that people want to share their dates — we want instant feedback from our friends, we want to know if something is weird, or normal, or as amazing as we think it is.
And there’s no doubt that dating has proved its entertainment value: shows like The Bachelor, Millionaire Matchmaker, and even the atrocity that is Eligible Dallas show that people find endless joy (or schadenfreude?) in watching other people date. Except of course, those shows are edited and scripted.
So if people have a natural urge to both share their dating experiences and watch other people’s dating lives, what happens when we fuse technology, entertainment, and straight-up voyeurism to create a group dating experience?
The date is real.
The people are real.
The reactions are immediate.
The editing is non-existent.
These two brave New Yorkers are going on a blind date, and their friends can watch. And comment. And text them as it happens. How does this change the experience of the date?
So, yes, we’re stoked about the free mac n’cheese. And yes, we’re going to be playing a drinking game while we watch this all unfold. But we’re seriously interested in seeing what happens. A blind date, live streamed on the Internet seems pretty extreme — but in the end, will the communication be that different from on a normal date?