crazy blind date

This is a cool service for young unattached urbanites! Go try it and report back your sociological observations!

Welcome to Crazy Blind Date! We like to keep things simple. That’s why on very short notice we can set you up on quick dates with total strangers at public places like bars and coffee shops. You’re not allowed to see their picture or even communicate. Choose your city.

From the FAQ:

Crazy Blind Date is a place where you can coordinate a date on extremely short notice. Online dating sites are cool (we also run, but sometimes you just want to go out immediately, with reckless abandon. We understand it’s not for everyone, but it is for social, outgoing, and adventurous people. Oh, and it’s completely free.

When you agree to a date, you’ll get to see a description of your match. If you still can’t find each other amongst all the other nervous-looking people at that bar or coffee shop, quack like a dog and make armpit farts. If that doesn’t work, you can send each other text messages through us. In the final 30 minutes before the date, we open a relay. If you send a text message to CUPID (28743) it will go to your date’s phone. For example: “I’m at the bar in the back, wearing a blue sweater, drinking a martini.”

A date request is not a commitment. If we find someone for you, we’ll show you a brief summary and a super blurry picture. At that point you have to say yes or no. A yes is binding.

  1. Show up. If you commit to a date, not showing up is beyond unacceptable and being late is mean. Remember: crazyblinddate is a website, but your actual blind date is a real person.
  2. A date is a short commitment, only. Be understanding if someone wants to leave after 30 minutes. On the other hand, even if there’s no chemistry, stick around for at least 20 minutes (less is rude) and be nice.
  3. Never lie in your description or personal information.. People have very little to go on, when making a date decision, so be honest about your age, height, body type, etc. You won’t last long on Crazy Blind Date if people suspect you’re not honest and say so on the Date Feedback Form.

You only have an obligation of 20 minutes, so get to know them. Plus, after each date we get feedback about personality and attractiveness. What they have to say about you determines a lot about your next date. Our matching system isn’t public, but in case this isn’t obvious: if someone says you’re extremely nice and attractive, it does wonders for getting you assigned to other nice and attractive people.

The more dates you go on, the better each assignment is.

I am reminded by this because of the last post on blog anonymity, and how we were talking about the very strong norm that bloggers have of protecting pseudonymous blogger’s anonymity. It’s not a rule, of course. But it does have swift repercussions in the form of reputational damage. If you accidentally “come out” at a blog meet up, no problem–what’s said in the room stays in the room, and the person who accidentally says “hey, Belle!” won’t be unduly punished when I have a name tag identifying myself as ______. But some person with an axe to grind who finds out my real identity and then publicly outs me on a blog without my permission–I am sure that even those who agree with his opinion of me would decry that behavior as violating a norm. Even those who don’t really believe in pseudonymity for the principled reasons that authors must publicly own their words would be hard pressed to justify outing another blogger, and would probably buckle under the barrage of critique and norm enforcement.

But look, here is more sociology in real life! This just came out a couple of months ago. Everyone knows the norm about not standing up a date. Here, I am sure, is a way to enforce that norm publicly through ratings, reviews, and public shaming. The administrators of Crazy Blind Date might have a way of blocking certain user accounts if those users are chronic renegers. Norms aren’t the same as rules, but they can have similar effects in enforcement: retribution, ostracization, outlawry. Basic rules are the same as those in the blogosphere: Don’t be a jerk. Don’t do bad, illegal things. Play it safe. Of course, the biggest rule is “don’t stand people up,” and it’s interesting that they use the term “binding,” which sounds very legal, as if to stand someone up were tantamount to reneging on a contract that may be enforced in court. This is like Ewick and Silbey’s The Common Law of Everyday Life!

I think Crazy Blind Date sounds awesome and intersting, and were I not happily attached, that would be a totally interesting thing to do on a boring Friday night for personal and sociological reasons. On Unfogged, some of the commenters went on the dates–they went OK! Nothing terrifying, and less time investment than normal online dating would entail, what with all the profile perusal and endless back-and-forth emailing before the first real date. Most impressions aren’t really formed until the date anyway, and good email does not mean good date. So why not cut to the chase and interact in real life right away, even if you don’t have information about whether the other person likes puppies and wants children “someday”? People show up, have a date, have something to do on a Friday night, and either keep dating or go home, having had a social interaction they might not have otherwise had. It’s an interesting process, even if it does not result in anything. So go out and go on the dates, and report back to Scatterplot your sociological observations! (I’m kidding of course. Or am I.)

What I really want is for these experiences to be documented by sociologists. The social psychology of the first date must be interesting. Also, since sociologists claim to be so socially awkward, they’d probably learn something.

7 thoughts on “crazy blind date”

  1. since sociologists claim to be so socially awkward

    To a first approximation, everyone in America claims to be shy, socially awkward, unpopular when in high school, in possession of a good sense of humor, and open to listening to all kinds of music.


  2. Incidentally, I can’t wait for one of these things to turn into marriage so that it goes up on the testimonials page.

    Of course, the question is whether they’d even admit to meeting that way. While online dating has become so common it’s hardly has any stigma attached (whereas formerly it was considered the provenance of Aspergery geeks, social misfits, and unattractive types by the haters), “cute” stories are still privileged above all others. And this story, while cute, is not like “we met volunteering for Habitat For Humanity–in Burma.” So that’s another sociological angle I’m interested in–the norms have shifted around online dating and social networking with the rise of Web 2.0 platforms, but the old school persists in terms of what you tell your parents and strangers, and what’s regarded as “a cute story.”

    Most stories are incredibly boring. We met in school, we met at a house party, blah blah. TD doesn’t let me tell the blog world anything real, and the real is so boring. So I just make up whatever story I want, like how we met at the urban iditarod and had to merge teams because his musher got injured and my human sled person bailed on me. Or at the zombie goth rave, only we hardly recognized each other the next day without the makeup. Or when we went to survival training camp together, and I was having trouble making my deadfall trap, and he came over and helped me and we shared the roasted squirrel I captured that night. It was love at first bite.


  3. I always wonder whether online dating is dicey for academics. What if one of your students sees your profile! Or your colleagues! (That means they’re looking too, but it’s still good gossip by school hall standards.) But a lot of people I know do it anyway, because they didn’t get that tenure track job by having awesome work/life balance. So they’re new assistant professors spending every weekend going on dates and on three different dating sites at once and trying to avoid accidentally going out with their students. Like I said, very time consuming. But more efficient than going to clubs every weekend for meeting someone and talking to them, and as your mother would say: would you want to marry someone you met at a club?

    It is my understanding that a lot of law professors are on JDate. However, Crazy Blind Date sounds really efficient and perfect for last minute plans.


  4. Crazy Blind Date sounds really efficient and perfect for last minute plans.

    .. if you don’t value your time and sanity much, that is. Sounds like a disaster in the making. Can you name some examples of situations where you’d rather go with a perfect stranger than simply by yourself? Please remember to account for the possibility (let’s say 50%, which is likely a conservative estimate) that the person is someone you would ordinarily not want to spend time with or be seen with.


  5. I like to go to things by myself all the time, and sometimes would rather go without my boyfriend (shopping, movies we don’t both like…). But if I were looking for a romantic relationship–why not? This is comparatively less time investment than going to a single’s bar and waiting for someone to talk to you, or looking through 50 profiles on some online dating site.

    And you’re not looking to go to something with someone. It’s more meeting someone for a 20 minute first date, and that’s more efficient than a 2 hour first date, which is how long one lasts if you meet for dinner or something. It’s not like the CL “random encounters” thing where people say “I have an extra free ticket–want to go with me?” Although people do that all the time, and one of my friends married the dude. The Lion King on Broadway, it brings people together.

    This is what, at most a 20 minute conversation at a coffee shop down the street? Sounds a little like that speed dating thing people do, and actually, better. Speed dating sounds like a bunch of interviews and way too painful and way too much rejection for one night. Actually, that sounds like the AALS faculty recruitment conference.


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