Love, Internet style
February 11, 2014
When it comes to love this Valentine's Day, my computer might be my best ally.
The jury's still out on whether or not I have an unhealthy relationship with Facebook. I liken my daily social media check-ins to my soda addiction, which admittedly borders on obsessive.
Or is compulsive?
I do use my Facebook page to share my writing work and post jokes as a comic. I also help companies and nonprofit organizations with their social media needs. So I'm not always just playing around on Facebook.
The study also found that around 45 percent of couples have met on dating sites, while others hook up via online social networks, chat rooms and instant messaging. I guess that makes me a statistic.
I save that time for my Angry Birds Star Wars habit.
Recently, Facebook proved to be my friend when one of my Facebook friends contacted me by Instant Message. He had read my column about how my life tends to be most impacted in five-year spurts. Like me, this Facebook friend had not only lived in Colorado but also in Flagstaff, Ariz. His message was short and sweet. He simply stated, "In many ways, we live parallel lives. I really appreciate people like you. Open and honest."
April does mean open.
I had seen his name before, in a few comments here and there on my Facebook page, so I wasn't oblivious to his existence. I had enjoyed his wit. I wrote back — we've since become fast friends — and I learned we met prior to becoming Facebook friends. Working for the paper, I've met a lot of people over the years, so I had to have him remind me where that first encounter took place. He jokes that he's forgettable.
Apparently my legs aren't the only thing that needs a jog.
I was quickly reminded that our first meeting was at a coffee shop in Glenwood Springs, when I was standing in line to buy coffee with my friend Kendra. He had struck up a conversation with me about gelato, and what flavors were the best.
I usually go with lemon.
That happened several years ago but I did remember, as did Kendra. Gelato Guy said he saw me in the paper a few days later and realized he had talked to me at the coffee shop. Our meeting remained a distant memory and years went by.
Then Facebook came along to save the day.
Through IMing, we've come to learn quite a bit about each other. We have the Flagstaff thing in common, as well as Colorado. We both play golf, although I don't exactly have a handicap and have never shot a hole-in-one. He's shot three, no easy feat.
That's obviously not a stroke of luck.
We have plans to play golf when the weather warms up, so that should be interesting when we finally hit the links. My short game definitely needs some work.
Actually my long one needs some help, too.
By messaging, we learned we both play tennis and like to read. We've discovered we both have Midwestern roots, although his are a little more northern-based than mine. This means he has that awesome Minnesotan accent.
Isn't that the best?
In this age of transparent online access, people can virtually go out without actually going out. Facebook and other social media outlets allow people to learn about someone, and view many aspects of their lives before they even go on a date. We've since talked on the phone and made plans to someday meet.
There will be a golf course involved.
Society has quickly changed over the last 10 years that Facebook has been around, and I guess I can be thankful for that. The platform allows a chance for people to get to know each other without a huge commitment. That's pretty huge in itself.
Especially for this girl.
I'm sure this trend of people meeting and dating online will only grow. Last year, the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" released a study that said 35 percent of married couples now meet online. The study also found that around 45 percent of couples have met on dating sites, while others hook up via online social networks, chat rooms and instant messaging. I guess that makes me a statistic.
Hopefully that will turn out to be a good one.
— April E. Clark may have a virtual Valentine this year. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.