Speed dating, a dating party where groups of people have micro-dates with a handful people over the course of an evening, has been rebranded as younger, hipper and more specialized with events like "The Internet Killed Your Social Skills. Got five minutes and some Ray Ban wayfarers? Speed dating, a party where groups of people have micro-dates over the course of an evening in a sort of amorous musical chairs is being rebranded as a younger, hipper alternative to online dating.
In Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood, an event called "The Internet Killed Your Social Skills" is drawing crowds every first Thursday of the month, filling a bar with a sea of somethings in fedoras.
Julia Segal, 25, founded the event, nicknamed "hipster speed dating," as a way to polish up the dating skills that online dating and social networking sites, such as Facebook, have helped to obliterate. Soon hipster speed dating will come to nearby Park Slope.
And a slew of other dating agencies are offering specialized speed dating services to clients. Speed Dating Connections, a Manhattan-based speed dating agency, has hosted 10, daters over the past two years, with many daters looking for very specific kinds of dates. Speed Dating Connections primarily focuses on ethnicity-based dating; the majority of their events are for Asian and Indian clients. But like many agencies, they also offer a variety of specialized services: Dates based on pet ownership, military service and athletic ability are common among of their clients.
Jacob Tanur, owner of Speed Dating Connections, said it only makes sense to whittle down the number of people in the dating pool. A group of 20 daters line the far end of the darkened wood-paneled room, shuffling from table to table to the rhythm of Roxy Music's "Love is the Drug.
After the last date, patrons turn in note cards to Segal that tell her with whom they felt a connection. The next day, she will send out an e-mail informing the daters of their matches. David Castillo, 27, the resident DJ and co-founder for hipster speed dating, believes true matches can only happen face to face. He met his girlfriend of four years dancing in a club. He doesn't think it's natural to date online.
Spectators have as much of a chance of finding romance as do the daters playing. If you put 30 women in front of a guy, he's going to choose the wrong person. Emmanuel Cruz, 25, with a septum piercing long piecey bangs, is simply giving his luck a whirl. His first and only speed dating event was last month, and he was sporting a black eye from a recent mugging. He thought his chances might be better this time.