MDJ Says: People still get surprised when they find out that Zee and I met over Twitter. “Is that even possible?” they ask. Yes. It can. We’re happily on our way to our second anniversary of couplehood, and are getting married next year.
And yet, our story is not unique. Social media has been responsible for many wonderful relationships over the years, a lot of which look like happily-ever-after’s in the making.
Can social media help in your personal lovelife? Here are Zee’s thoughts on the matter.
Zee: In 1997, a close friend of mine excitedly told me that she’d found “the one” over mIRC. Yes, through internet chat. She was ooh-ing and aah-ing over how sweet he was, and how he was such a nice guy. She showed me an emailed picture of the guy’s college graduation picture and said yet again that he was such a nice guy. At that time, she had not even met the guy yet. All she had was a measly emailed picture.
So, this is the guy who’s been taking up all her time, I thought. This is the reason why she hasn’t been hanging with us and I end up visiting her at home.
I took a sip of my Vodka Sprite and being the cynic that I was asked pointedly, “How can you gauge if the guy is sweet through the internet?”
“Look! He sent me virtual flowers! Isn’t that sweet?!” she replied.
I rolled my eyes and thought, “She’s loony.”
Being the well-meaning friend that I was, I said “How the heck would you know if he really is that guy on the picture? For all you know, he’s butt-ugly.”
Hey, I was 21 years old and shallow as hell.
“I trust him,” she says.
“Okay…” I counter.
“He’s very intelligent and knows me really well,” she added.
“Uh-huh…Talk is cheap.” I thought.
I poured more vodka into my glass. “He could be butt-ugly and just playing you, or could be a rapist, for all you know,” I said.
“You’ll never know, and he could just have one arm and can type on the keyboard like a one-armed mad man. You can’t see his arms in the picture,” I add some more.
They have been married for 15 years now, have three wonderful kids, and are still happily in love.
It’s 2012 today, and their story is just one more in the sea of relationships triggered and consummated online. Love over social media abounds. Facebook connections with old friends finding each other, and new friends adding each other up.
Twitter banter and flirting is just as common. It’s so easy to just talk and flirt on a computer screen where you don’t have to make eye contact, or just stare at a pre-selected, discreetly cropped profile pic. Well-thought-of statuses and tweets, or sometimes even posts without thought.
People have an open choice to unfriend, follow, unfollow, or block. But for some (not all, especially me), friendship and more is measured through this.
“I’m stressing. I just broke up with my girlfriend, and when I change my status on Facebook, everyone will know and ask questions.”
“I thought she was my friend, but she unfollowed me! I’m so hurt!”
These are statements we commonly hear nowadays. It is kind of funny, when you think about it. But come to think of it, it could be a perfect venue for knowing someone just as I met my MDJ. No face-to-face interaction needed. It is THE perfect venue for the non-confrontational persona. You can judge a person through his or her Facebook pictures or their tweets. Personality analysis in 140 characters… perfect!
When one wants to be sweet, they can just send a GIF animated email with little hearts bouncing around, or load up a video on YouTube swearing their undying love. How sweet.
Tell me how much I matter to you in a page-long email, will you? You want to know more about the person? Google them. If they aren’t Google-able, they are losers. So credible, don’t you agree? It is both so easy and yet so scary, Miss Mary.
So, is social media really the best place to ever find the one, just like me and my friend did? I really don’t know. I can be a cynic, and I think I forever will be when it comes to these things.
I believe in long walks and talks, laughter and banter, time shared and time passing. I believe in genuine action, and not just words. Horses for courses, and that’s just how I feel about it.
I need to see to believe, lest my imagination runs wild and I will always wonder if it’s a one-armed person who just has mad typing skills I’m chatting with.
What I want is not easy in this day and age of instant gratification. Click on the “Like” button and the heart goes pitter-patter. “Follow” and we’re friends, “unfollow” and we’re not, “block” and we’re enemies. Even when I became friends with and actually met MDJ, I stood my ground.
Unlike social media sites, love can’t be unfriended, unfollowed, or blocked as easily. The pain is real, and hey, you have to see each other some time right?