4 Social Media Love Stories

Finding love on the Internet is nothing new — one in 10 Americans have tried online dating, and one-third of U.S. married couples met online.

But professing it in a creative way? You know, not just the “OMG! I have THE BEST boyfriend/husband/wife/girlfriend ever!!!! I love him/her so much!!!” status updates? Now, that’s a little less common.

What about finding it online in a different way? We’ve all heard of online dating, but some folks are dating online without the help of a site tailored to that purpose.

To give you a break from the Facebook doting and Match.com love stories, I’ve surfed the ‘net to bring some truly awe-worthy social media love stories in honor of Valentine’s Day:

  1. “I Hope This Gets To You” viral video
    Now if this isn’t the best example of a profession of love and social media, I don’t know what is.

    Back in November 2010 (eek! Doesn’t this seem like eons ago!?), L.A. director and editor Walter C. May got his roommates — a band called The Daylights — together to write and record a song for his girlfriend who’d just moved away to attend Duke University. He then filmed a music video, spending only $100 on materials.

    The catch? None of his friends or her friends were allowed to tell her about it. May’s girlfriend was to discover the video on her own, through social media sharing alone.

    It took his girlfriend less than a week to see the video. And apparently she loved it.

  2. The classic Facebook search of your own name
    OK, who hasn’t looked up their own name on Facebook to see who else shares the name? I did — there’s a woman in DC with my name. We’re now Facebook friends.

    But a Florida woman has a much more interesting story.

    One day, a bored Kelly Hildebrandt searched her own name on the social networking site. To her surprise there was a man who shared the name — so she sent him a message. Apparently, he thought she was pretty cute. They were engaged several months later.

    Unfortunately, this couple only stayed married for three years.

  3. Using Twitter hashtags
    Laurie Davis is the author of the book Love At First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Dating Online and founder of eFlirt expert. Basically, she helps people find love online through dating sites — and regular social media sites, too. She actually met her own fiancé through Twitter.

    Her fiancé, Thomas Edwards, is also a dating coach. She searched the hashtag #dating, saw one of his tweets, retweeted him, met up for drinks and the rest is history.

    The couple plans to wed this May.

    Fun fact: For all you hopefuls when it comes to finding love on Twitter, a U.K. electronics company found via research that it takes an average of 225 tweets to successfully pick up a person.

  4. Brought together by music — and social media
    One of my friends who avidly dates via OKCupid once said to me “when you meet guys at a bar, all you have in common with them is that you were at the same bar. But that’s not so with online dating.”

    The story of Dianna Hank and Noah Zitsman reminds me of what my friend said.

    The two met in a Phish chat room on Turntable.fm. After being friendly with each other for a while, they realized they both were attending the same Phish concert in Vermont — why not meet up?

    Meet up they did. And they did at other concerts after that. Eventually, they ended up dating.

Lane Blackmer is a self-employed former journalist. Although she’s no longer a newsie, Lane since discovered other uses for social media such as public relations, marketing, job searching, and trying to win gift cards from her favorite local businesses through contests. Lane inhabits Philadelphia, where’s it’s not always sunny…but at least there’s cheese steaks. You can follow her on Twitter at @LaneBlackmer.

Nancy Slotnick, Founder of Matchmaker Café

Nancy Slotnick has been featured on Oprah, the Today Show and numerous others as a relationship expert. She has a B.A. from Harvard in Psychological Anthropology, and she is a renowned Life Coach, specializing in dating, love and marriage issues.

In the late 90’s, Nancy founded the original dating-cafe, Drip, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and her most recent venture is a matchmaking site on Facebook called Matchmaker Café. We got the opportunity to talk with her on her background and this new venture.

When would you say social media starting gaining prominence in the dating world, and in what capacity?

Unfortunately, social media still hasn’t gained prominence in the dating world. The reason that it’s so difficult, and the reason that I say unfortunately, is that people continue to keep their social life and their dating life separate. On the other hand, on social media, where there are so many mutual friends that are dying to meet, they are embarrassed to reach out and admit it. The “poke” is considered creepy and even the status of “single” is way underutilized. I call this putting your “cablight” on. (i.e. turning the light on to show you’re available).

What is the best way to leverage social media to meet a match?

3 excellent ways:

  1. 1. Go through the friends of your friends and ask your mutual friend about the ones that look cute;
  2. 2. When you meet someone at a bar/party/event and you haven’t exchanged numbers, just ask if they’re on Facebook and start off by friending.
  3. 3. Look on social media at the events that your friends go to in order to find good events for yourself.

What are the pitfalls of using social media to meet a match?

The transparency of social media is both a pro and a con. In contrast to online dating, which is very anonymous and segregated from friends and ex’s, social media is everybody’s business. If you have a girlfriend and things are rocky, you can’t easily use social media to try to replace her. Chances are that one of her friends will find out.

Is there still a stigma to meeting a match online?

Yes, the stigma is part of the reason that people don’t put their cablight on and why they try to remain relatively anonymous about their online dating endeavors. It’s still embarrassing to “resort” to paying for help getting a date. Yet it’s something that almost everyone needs help with. There’s even a stigma about being single. Ironically, if you hide behind the embarrassment by being passive in your dating life, you often miss the boat.

Social media has been blamed for the ruin of many relationships and marriages– What are your thoughts on this?

Social media is a tool, not a player, in the game of love. People are the ones who take various actions that are either private or public, and people are the ones who decide to post various actions in either a private or public way. It’s annoying when people don’t take responsibility for their actions and try to blame the media. We’re not victims of technology, and technology is an amazing tool to make our lives more efficient and to make connections possible that might not be otherwise.

Are there any ways that social media would enhance relationships and marriages?

I don’t know. I’d have to say not really. Social media tends to be a way that people avoid intimacy. They have the illusion of connecting with others but it is not real. I would say that marriages and relationships should be about less social media, and more about vulnerability in the connection. Social media is sharing in a more public way. Relationships are meant to be private, and not for show.

Should couples share social media accounts and/or passwords?

No. We are all individuals, and couples that are “joined at the hip” are not that likely to be in a healthy relationship. It’s not a very stable relationship model. I believe in respecting the differences in each other’s world.

Please tell me about Matchmaker Café, and why you chose Facebook as your platform.

We [at Matchmaker Café] aren’t looking to re-invent the wheel. Facebook’s social graph already exists; we are just trying to leverage it to help our members solve a problem in their dating life. We want to help our members utilize Facebook’s social graph to get themselves the dates they want. It’s simple but surprisingly it hasn’t been done.

Why use social media instead of traditional methods for meeting a match?

Because it’s there and it works better. 90% of people that we interviewed tell us that their first choice of how to meet someone is “Through friends.” So why not?

Lisa Chau has been involved with Web 2.0 since graduate school at Dartmouth College, where she completed an independent study on blogging. She was subsequently highlighted as a woman blogger in Wellesley Magazine, published by her alma mater. Since 2009, Lisa has worked as an Assistant Director at the Tuck School of Business. In 2012, she launched GothamGreen212 to pursue social media strategy projects. You can follow her on Twitter.

SMWNYC Guide to Valentine’s Day

Tuesday. The big day. Some call it a day of love; some can’t wait for it to be over. But it’s a day we talk about love, likes, trust, sex, and feeling connected- mostly by women but always by passionate people. And we’re happy you’re spending Valentine’s Day with us. To make it a sweeter date for you, we’re compiling some of our picks for the day that involve all those aspects and are still open for you to register.

9am at Fenton: NGOs, Causes and the Original Interest Graphs – Interactive Panel Discussion
10am at Hearst: Digital Voyeurism: How Sharing Real Homes in Real Time is Changing the Way We Decorate
10am at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness: Keynote: J.C. Herz on Unpacking the Quantified Self followed by Panel: The Sensor Continuum
12pm at Reuters: Keynote: Rachel Lloyd, Executive Director & Founder of Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS)
1pm at Big Fuel: Social Love: The Future of Social Media and Relationships
2pm at Thomson Reuters: The Internet and Power: Sopa, Twitter Censorship and Who We Can Trust To Protect Us
4pm at Microsoft: More than “Likes” Can Say
4:30pm at Thomson Reuters: Supercharging Your Love for Facebook Marketing
5:30pm at NYIT: She Shall Lead: Helping Women Take a Leadership Role in Social Media
5:30pm at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness: Women, Money & Social Power: What Made The Komen Debacle A Win For Women
6pm at SVA West Side Gallery: Chocolate Tasting Networking Party for NYC’s Social Good Community
6pm at JWT: Deep Focus Presents: An Evening of “Connectedness”

Let us be your valentine, and enjoy the myriad events on relationships- the professional and personal-, marketing and social good.