I wrote about Shidduch Vision back in July, but this past week the opening of a studio in Lakewood has everyone talking about it and here is what I think:
Shidduch vision is basically an overpriced web-cam for frummies who don’t want to travel far away distances to meet their bashert’s in uncomfortable settings so they might as well be even more uncomfortable while having a video conference date. Each “date” lasts 50 minutes and costs each party $18, does the guy pay for the girl? How come that question wasn’t in the FAQ section? It seems that everyone has an opinion on the thing so here’s mine.
Shidduch vision is a kick ass idea, seriously folks, all the naysayers are obviously people who don’t really understand the frummie shidduch world. The world in which getting to the point of the actually shidduch date is a never ending world of long distance phone calls, back round checks and the hiring of private investigators to find old year book pictures that may reveal anything bad about the girl or boy. Finally after all is said and done they have to get both parties to agree to the date – which means getting the parents to agree and then the kids.
After all that the boy has to travel to wherever the girl may be, that could be thousands of miles, for a date with a girl he has never spoken to nor seen a picture of. Frummies don’t do skype dates, if they did, there would be no point to this shidduch vision thing, frummies don’t have cyber sex, chat on facebook and Instant Message and aren’t fond of those 3 hour pre-date phone calls that usually decide whether or not a long distance dater will make the trip. Shidduch vision may be an overpriced frummie-ized webcam, but for the frummies it’s a good thing.
A lot of folks including myself are quick to harp on Shidduch Vision, it is a hilarious concept, considering that frummies will be super uncomfortable. The FAQ section on the site barely scratches the surface of the issues that are sure to arise. Dates have to show government issued ID to get in so they don’t pull a Lavan on their date. But it says nothing about secret recording devices, I would definitely bring a little video camera into the date and film the whole thing, that’s my style, you can’t bring your friends which kind of sucks, but it’s understandable.
Another interesting aspect of it is the cost and length, $18 per person per 50 minute session, who pays? Does the guy pay for the girl? What if they are having a good time, can they stay longer? 50 minutes for a date is quite under the regulations set forth in the Shidduch Regulations Guide, which states that a frum date must be 3 hours in length. But then again, what I wouldn’t pay for a shortened date with a girl I really wasn’t too fond of, also the price cap is a nice idea, no fancy drinks or anything.
To quell all of our fears Shidduch Vision will not record the date to ensure quality, they claim there is no way, but there is always a way. If I was the host house – which will all be in respected families houses, I would be up against the door listening on – remember – frummies talk about shidduchim because it’s the closest they can come to openly discussing sex, shidduchim lead to sex you know.
One of the issues that may arise, is that since you are sitting down you may not get a good view of the girl standing up. To ensure this you may want to get there early, so you can see when she walks in and sits down. This may not be possible, because the site likes to tout how tznius and safe they are – I have no idea how a video conference can be unsafe, but it can definitely get untzius, and I am sure there will be people who may toe the line – although the site claims that is next to impossible because everyone is frum and tznius.