The first thing I thought when I read about this was: This is a technology that Laura Linney’s character from —a nervous turtlenecked mouse who loves her hot co-worker Karl silently and obsessively from afar—would use if the movie was set in the modern day.
“@karl,” she would type into Slack, chewing her nails as she looked at Rodrigo Santoro’s bespectacled avatar and hoped beyond hope that the desperate act would deliver her from her unrequited longing. Feeld had an earlier, harder-to-pronounce incarnation as “3nder,” an app that helped people find threesomes.
“Since the beginning Feeld’s mission was to make our society more accepting and open,” Feeld’s founder and “chief inspiration officer” Dimo Trifonov told me in an email.
“You can say that Feeld is for forward-thinking humans who don’t put themselves in predefined frameworks.” Society has “tried so hard to make work this cold place where [we] just earn money,” he goes on, “that the concept of bringing feelings there might scare some people.
Having feelings for a person is so human, why do people have to keep ignoring them or hiding them just because society says so?
The ease of finding new romantic partners on sites like Ok Cupid and Match.com, he believes, makes it difficult to settle on just one person.Meet Jacob, a thirtysomething, single Portlander on the prowl.He describes himself as “average-looking.” Girlfriends have called him “lazy, aimless, and irresponsible with money.” He doesn’t care much about “a solid credit score,” “a 40-hour workweek,” or settling down.Add technology to the mix and you get fear of change, doubled.When people began forming connections online, romantic or otherwise, the anonymity the internet allowed was terrifying.Skepticism and fear are typical reactions to technology that changes how people connect.My colleague Derek Thompson, who interviewed Wolfe at the Washington Ideas Forum, brought up a 1909 song by Irving Berlin, warning women against dating men who own cars.Jacob may be meeting a buffet of sexy professionals and college students through his online dating profiles, but those women are meeting … Slater doesn’t interview the paralegal, the lawyer, the naturopath, the pharmacist, the chef, or the twentysomething about their experiences dating online.They might speak to an alternate narrative of online dating: This Jacob could be exclusively for me, but so could the other two Jacobs I’m meeting this week—Oh, God.Sixth-graders claim to be dating when, after extensive negotiations conducted by third parties, two of them go out for ice cream.Many college students and 20‑somethings don’t start dating until after they’ve had sex.