Ofline
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Dating on facebook

My tour guide began to explain to me the mechanics of the platform, the potential it had to revolutionize the rising-but-struggling VR sphere, but all I could focus on was how real she looked.

Her avatar blinked, her eyes and eyebrows fluidly guided her face as it transitioned through expressions. My hand went through her, because of course it did.) The togetherness that long-distance couples crave, I realized, could be found in this place.

But in VR, I can present my virtual self to people who are thousands of miles away.

Will VR make me disillusioned with the real world, the way my baby-boomer parents fear? When I took off the headset and emerged into a white, barren office, I felt heavy.

My tour guide was the avatar of a spokesperson from Facebook’s public relations team, joining me from California.

The first thing she did was withdraw a virtual pencil from somewhere mysterious and draw an orange fish in the sky above her head.

That means this anti-loneliness technology is leaving some people out.

In some ways, these dates will be unrealistic, in that everyone will embody an idealized version of themselves, one that is skinny, attractive, and regularly visits campgrounds and Disneyland.

But isn’t that kind of how relationships are anyway, in their early stages?

In the distance, stood a black mountain range, the bright edges of the northern lights peering out from behind.

I was surrounded by the warm night, a waxing gibbous moon, a canopy of stars. In reality, I was sitting in the corner of a New York City office, wearing an Oculus Rift headset.

I didn’t just feel like she was there: She there, with me, in the glowing virtual wilderness. I see a world with VR dates to virtual mountains, boardwalks, skyscrapers, hot air balloon rides (I took one — don’t do it if you get motion sick), and anywhere else you and your significant other can imagine.

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Dating on facebook introduction

Dating on facebook

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