We have previously written about apps that help you find new friends and help you make plans with existing ones; we’ve written about startups that encourage spontaneous travel and adventure; and everyone knows about dating services and social media messaging platforms that help you get to know people through information exchange and playful image banter.
RendezWho is none of those and at the same time, in a way, it is all of those. Their slogan is, “Match. Travel. Meet.” and so they start by randomly matching you with one person – and only one person. Ever. Once you are matched with them, that’s it; there’s no swiping left, there’s no complaining to customer service, there’s no switching, adding or subtracting – there’s only diving in with your totally arbitrary match or there’s getting out and never coming back.
Of course, you don’t get to see what the person looks like. Or know their gender. Or even message them using words. You just get to see how far away they are, their answers to a series of random, ongoing questions and whatever music or pre-loaded GIFs they decide to share with you.
And if you read “how far away they are” and assumed that meant “their location” or even “the country they live in”, you would have been mistaken.
According to the site’s FAQ (which, given the concept, will never resemble “comprehensive”) the purpose of the application is,
To bring back the notion that there is someone in the world looking for you as you are looking for them. Quite simply the purpose is to make a friend you wouldn’t have otherwise made…it is better to think of it as an adventure. It is in that you’re getting to know someone in a different way, yet the person on the other end, while a stranger, is very much real.
Every day, you both answer new questions that reveal more and more about your personalities and your preferences. You are able to share your favorite kinds of music and GIFs that illustrate your mood, your character and your sense of humor. As you travel around your city, your country or the whole world, you are able to see the distance between you grow or shrink.
Until one day, maybe, your distance is small enough that the application notifies you that finally, the two of you are close – close enough to actually meet. On that day, you can then send a meeting invitation and if it is accepted – yes, I said, “if” – the two of you can come face to face. And actually become friends.
Or hate the living shit out of each other. It’s all part of the adventure.
The only stipulation is that if you do not answer at least one question every fifteen days, you will be permanently banished from the application – if this app is about anything, it’s about the extremes. Whether you forget you ever downloaded the thing or you finally fulfill your RendezWho at some cobble-stone café in Croatia, you are stuck with your life match, whoever they might be or become over the course of your connection. Then, however it all ends, it ends. The app for you is no more – your journey is over.
It’s almost impossible not to download this thing.
Ben is a Toronto-based writer and public speaker with more than a soft spot for 90s hip hop. He has spent over 10 years in business & tech, more than 20 in the arts, and an entire lifetime in a state of perpetual judgment (highly recommended). He is the author of the blogs This Is Your Brain on Dating and Love Gone Cray and can be found pontificating on Thought Catalog, Notable.ca, The Toronto Standard, Offline Magazine, Gasm.org and Huffington Post.
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