- Fiza Pirani The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Would you let an app set you up on a blind date?
It may seem like an awful lot of trust to instill in a dating app, but for anyone frustrated with the constant swiping, ghosting and inevitable online dating fatigue, it’s certainly a way to get you up and out on that date.
A new app, called First, launched Tuesday and aims to do just that.
The product comes from 25-year-old Los Angeles, California, native Truman Kain and is marketed as the first “real” dating app.
The concept is pretty simple: Create a profile using your Facebook login, post an idea for a date with the time and place (and cost, if you want), pick the lucky winner and meet up with your date.
No swiping, no messaging, no contact info.
But not being able to converse before the date could get logistically tricky. What if you’re running late? Or have to bail?
According to Mashable, you do have the ability to contact customer service in cases of real emergencies. However, the app has a pretty strict no-show or “No Flakes” policy — two strikes and you’re banned.
Critics, like Bryan Menegus of Gizmodo, aren’t shying away from noting some of the app’s big issues, including safety.
In addition to potential logistical issues, meeting a stranger certainly has some risks attached.
While First’s guidelines ask users to meet in a familiar, public, well-populated place, never meet at your home or apartment and to let your friends and family know your exact plans, there aren’t any specific safety features ingrained into the app to avoid disastrous situations.
First also goes against what popular dating apps like Tinder, Hinge, Grindr and countless others boast — a way to save time by personally connecting online and learning about them from their profile descriptions and chats.
But according to Kain, First wants to save the time often lost during the swipe/chat/repeat process and get the meeting out of the way first. He said the app is meant to help users avoid investing their energy into getting to know someone only to realize upon meeting them that there’s just no connection.
This obviously isn’t a novel concept — that’s how traditional dating before apps and phones worked. Strangers or acquaintances (depending on whether or not it was a blind date) met at a previously planned time and location, connected (or didn’t) and either moved on together or went their separate ways.
But how will that perform in app form?