Shidduch Vision: My thoughts

shidduch visionI 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.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Channah K.

    Shidduch Vision really is just Skype with a time limit that you pay for. If frum families are going to use something like a web cam anyway, they shouldn’t take money out of their limited budgets (children are expensive!) for something they could get for free.

    But really, it isn’t the $18 that bugs me, it’s the principle: that a company would charge for something others do for free and expect to make a profit; it goes against every principle of economics. And that’s not even the worst–it’s that it works. Whether it’s buying heimishe ketchup or this webcam service, some frum families so need everything they do to be, not just mutar, but Jewishly endorsed, that they’ll pay for a Jewish scam as long as it’s Jewish.

    Okay, that’s not the case with the ketchup. That stuff’s just gross.

  • Anonymous

    what the hell why pay a dime when u can buy a webcam for $20 and have it under parental supervision ?

  • Joe

    My main question which you touched on, would be is do you get to see full body vision of the girl or just face while she is talking.
    How could a guy ‘know’ a girl without having to see her entire figure….?! this might just be a great way for chick who are fat to get away with it

  • DrumIntellect

    Yeah, but if one of them touched the monitor, would it be considered “not being shomer negiah”?

  • max

    its funny cuz i think they stole the idea from your post back on February 26, 2009 where you write a piece on “would video conference shidduch dating work”. they really took all your concerns in to consideration when creating this thing! below is the link to your article.
    http://www.frumsatire.net/2009/02/26/would-video-conference-shidduch-dating-work/

  • Izzy

    Two points:
    1) I don’t think they are doing this to make money. I know the guy involved with this, he is a really nice guy, not yeshivish, and has a number of not-for-profit shidduch/dating related initiatives. I understood that they are charging to recoup their expenses, which leads me to my next point…
    2) The equipment, inlcuding a decent sized flat-screen TV, and what looks like a better than average video camera, costs money, as does setting this all up and maintaining it. I use Skype all the time, and the quality is not that great because my laptop does not have the best quality webcam, and neither do ost of my friends/family. The setup that they have looks alot closer to the videoconferencing equipment that they have at my office, which I am sure was expensive.

  • Sergeant J

    Even the high end videoconference stuff is not THAT pricey, it should pay for itself in short order at the rates mentioned..

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