While reading Tinder-Bios: I just want to quarantine and calm down (ok), holidays are in the garden, exercise means intense ludo competition, pillowcases are new this thing to wear, I hope you continue to replace well hello and Zoom has taken over the world, it’s new normal for meetings?
In quarantine, lonely people all over the world feel lonelier than ever.
Of course we are all limited in our homes, while at the same time we isolate ourselves socially with banana bread made in a kitchen wrapper in front of the face and a lot of instagram. But today, the lonely people of this world feel more alone than ever. Yeah, me too.
This really is an unprecedented moment.
Although the last two years of my life have been full of romantic failures, when a friend asked me two weeks ago to participate in a virtual speed dating event called the Global Social Mixer, I reluctantly, hopelessly and a little excitedly accepted. To be honest, I would (really) take every opportunity not to wear my pajamas right now.
Gossip, great boredom
That’s what I already know about the event: The Global Social Mixer was made by Prateek Thawani, 28 years old, based in London, who broke the connection when he learned that the lockdown could be extended for the near future.
During the event, I should clarify the conversations with strangers, although this is virtual, but before a one-on-one conversation begins, everyone can talk in groups of four or five. Each interview lasted 5 to 8 minutes and was expected to involve about 50 to 60 people from all over the world. Everyone who was invited was first checked by the organizers and if you were a shy boy, you were asked ice-cold questions.
How long are we going to wait before we get a romantic interest? Can screenshots with strangers lead to a relationship?
On the day of the event some 40 people gathered for the zoom call. After a (rather long) introduction we were randomly scattered in the toilets, after which we could choose one person to talk to the other. Men and women aged 25 to 35 participated in the event, which was followed by a wide range of discussions, from quick recipes and how China can develop a cure for coronaviruses earlier than others to the reality show Netflix Love is blind.
Three toilets and 20 people later, I lost all patience. So I left a call with Zoom, put my pajamas back on and slipped under a soft blanket. So I decided to write to a friend who invited me to tell him how I had failed. But he convinced me to come back and try again, and I did.
You have a boyfriend!
Ten minutes later I met the winner of a beauty contest, who was also a full-time employee of the company (multi-tasking license), and an engineer from Bengaluru, who came from the same city as me. Although we didn’t share our phone numbers or Instagram IDs, it was pleasantly warm, wonderfully refreshing and perhaps a much-needed break during the endless lockdown, when dating an application rarely offers real chemistry.
But I couldn’t help wondering if the culture of dating would change forever during the social divide. How long do we have to wait before we get a romantic interest? Will the millennia we know are suffering from attachment problems warm up to the idea of old-fashioned speed dating? Can screenshots with strangers really lead to a relationship? Or is it just another temporary solution?
Maybe we won’t find out in time.
But as long as I still have a chance to get out of my Netflix regime to repeat the routine and ill-considered scrolling on Instagram with a different dating speed for the quarantined bachelor, I can (that’s true) just go upstairs.
From 31 May 2020