Social distancing is prompting the lonely and bored to connect in new ways. One of them is speed dating.
Firstdate is a new app that’s kind of like Chatroulette, but for people who want to get serious virtually. In the works for months, it launched in mid-March with impeccable timing. About 4,500 daters have already used it.
“People are starting to become less picky,” said Lee-Anne Galloway, a matchmaker based in Toronto, who typically organizes IRL events but has recently switched to Firstdate. “And I really hope that continues. Because so many times love shows up, and it looks nothing like we thought it was going to.”
VICE News attended one of Galloway’s events. Our correspondents had just 3 minutes to say hello, adjust their lighting and posture, and decide whether they liked the person on their screen. (As it turns out, there’s more to a successful virtual date than sitting on your sofa.)
Kimberley, one attendee in Toronto, told us the pandemic was changing not only how she dated but also her calculation of what she was looking for in a partner. “You spend a lot of time on your own and wish that you had someone, companionship and all that. It makes you think, ‘Why wait?'”