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The presence of a Slack app on your phone creates the awareness that you find your soulmate at any moment. And whatever the seeming simplicity of a bot that just reveals mutual interest, it would undoubtedly only create more uncertainty and anxiety.
Combining the two would only exacerbate “that perpetual sense of possibility, but also the possibility of disappointment,” in Weigel’s words—dating apps’ stock-in-trade. What if you type someone’s name in and six months go by before they reciprocate and your feelings have changed?
According to a survey done by the Society for Human Resource Mangement, fewer HR managers now think workplace romances are unprofessional—29 percent said they were in 2013, compared to 58 percent in 2005.
An increased openness to office romance may be partially attributable to the fact that there are structures in place to deal with sexual harassment, and it may also come from the loosier-goosier nature of many young people’s work lives these days.
And, Weigel says, it was Anita Hill’s 1991 testimony accusing then-Supreme-Court-nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment that really catapulted the issue into public consciousness and inspired many companies to develop policies against it. “There’s endless movies and novels and pop culture things about people meeting at work,” Weigel says, perhaps in part because the very nature of a workplace romance provides hurdles that are good for dramatic tension.
published several trend pieces about romances between co-workers during the ’80s and ’90s, sometimes suggesting that since there were more women in the workforce, and since people were working longer hours, “the workplace becomes one of the likeliest places to make a match,” as a 1988 article put it. According to a study published in 2012, straight people in the ’80s and ’90s were just as likely to meet their partner at work as they were to meet them at a bar, and those methods were second only to meeting through friends.
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.
Lisa Mainiero, a professor of management at Fairfield University who has been studying office romance for more than 30 years, says that in the past couple decades, the taboo against it has lessened as companies have figured out how to walk the line of policing sexual harassment while leaving room for consensual relationships.Having feelings for a person is so human, why do people have to keep ignoring them or hiding them just because society says so?