If you’re single and looking, you’ve likely tried one or both of the following. Hopped online, agonized over trying to describe yourself in 100 words or less and started sifting through the piles of photos and profiles of potential dates found on Lavalife, Plentyoffish, Match.com, or the hundreds of other dating sites out there. All of that online finger tapping could translate into some offline romance … or you could find yourself having drinks with someone who looks like a cousin of the Munsters, and resembles nothing like the photos he’s shared with you.
Option two moves you from one date to the next in a round robin style speed-dating event. With each date lasting a minute or so, it can either feel way too short or as if time is standing still.
Now the perks and perils of both have come together in online speed dating.
Using the modern technology of Webcams and high-speed Internet, sites like WooMe.com, which recently went public, are popping up on the Internet.
The premise of WooMe is simple: five dates in five minutes. The site allows users to create a chat session or join an existing one for one-on-one sessions that are a minute long. Chats range in everything from “Just checking this out” to favourite sports. Want to chat longer with someone? Let the person know he or she has been “wooed.” If the feeling is mutual, it’ll cost you $1 to take the connection further. Think your online chat partner is a creep? End the session after just a few seconds.
“There is so much you can tell about a person right off the bat — you can tell what their personality is just by how they talk and how they present themselves,” says Haley Stokols, director of Online Community for WooMe, about the online sessions.
Some may think this is just another way to exploit the singles market while others may truly enjoy the face-to-face interaction with potential dates from the comforts of their own living room … or wherever else your Webcam is set up.
For newcomers, Stokols recommends joining or starting chats around your hobbies or sports you enjoy. “It’s a great way to get the ball rolling and get (the conversation) moving,” she says.
And if the conversation doesn’t get going, just hop on over to a different session.
Kasia Iglinski is a journalist who enjoys her work and her dating life. Armed with a notepad and a curious mind, she’s always on the prowl for a good story and a good date.