Blind dates are always awkward: there’s the anticipation of who will be sitting across from you, the question of if you’ll like them and what to talk about. Blind dating on Zoom is even more uncomfortable—but has now become somewhat of a norm in our current society, where we can no longer safely meet face-to-face. I’ve never been set up on a date before, but I decided to give it a try to find out what it was like to go on a virtual date.
It wouldn’t be Zoom without technical difficulties: I immediately encountered some as I sat down for my date. I had sent the wrong Zoom link, so both my date and I had waited on an empty call for 10 minutes, thinking the other person had been late, or worse, stood us up. After everything was sorted out, the conversations began.
I prefaced the date by explaining the idea of the story I was writing, that I had never been on a blind date before and that this wasn’t the typical way I went about meeting someone. Connor, who was chosen by fellow The Oracle staffer Madison, reassured me that this was also not normal for him. Luckily, with all of the crazy things going on in the world, we weren’t short of things to talk about.
The obvious conversation starter was the ongoing pandemic, especially given the virtual setting of our date. However, we also ran through the topics I felt were typical of a first date: college, school, travel and families. I can confidently say that by the time 45 minutes had gone by, I knew Connor better than when I had first logged onto Zoom. The date wasn’t life changing, but it was nice nonetheless.
Looking back, it definitely went a lot better than I expected. My biggest concern was not having anything to talk about; awk-
ward silence in the virtual format feels a lot worse compared to when you’re face-to-face with someone. Once I got into the flow of talking, this worry mostly faded away.
I’m not sure if blind dates are the best for virtual dating, because being face-to-face with someone—especially if you have never met them before—is beneficial for connecting. Still, if you’ve been talking to someone and want to meet up in person but can’t, a video call would probably be really fun.
Overall, I would recommend going on a virtual date as a second-rate alternative. During these challenging times, we must make do with what we have, and Zoom can provide an opportunity to connect with others.