Love is just an app away. Not on Tinder, Hinge, or OkCupid but on Instagram, YouTube, and even Twitch.
Dating apps can be a bit of a dead end. There’s a numbness that comes from swiping and swiping (and swiping). The same-old “getting to know you” questions can result in unsettlingly similar answers, leading to a drop-off in interest before two people have even met. There are, of course, dating app success stories, but nothing can match the magic of meeting someone when you least expect it.
Sometimes that means swapping one app for another. Twitch is spending a whole week celebrating Valentine’s Day with stories of couples who met on the service and now stream together, like Tara and Phil. Today, Twitter is also highlighting relationships that started with 140 (or 280) characters via its #WeMetOnTwitter tag.
One Twitter meet-cute surpasses them all. In 2012, Victoria Carlin fell in love with a bookstore’s charming Twitter account. The account in question, the (now closed) Oxford St. location of Waterstone’s bookstore in London, tweeted things like “BOOK FACT: Cheetahs can type faster than any other land animal but, sadly, their works are often poorly plotted and/or emotionally naive.”
Carlin boldly stated her love for the person writing the store’s tweets. As it turns out, it was Jonathan O’Brien. Cut to some flirty tweets, direct messages, and a real-life meeting, and the two fell in love and married.
Proceed With Caution
Before you slide into the DMs of your Twitter crush, though, dating philosopher Holly Wood, who has a PhD in sociology from Harvard, cautions against indiscriminate messages. “Men who I don’t follow me DM me all the time trying to ask me out and I don’t really appreciate it,” she says.
It’s not an issue with being approached but that they don’t know anything about her. “Loving my jokes isn’t enough of a reason for me to want to date you,” Wood says.
There has to be a shared interest that develops over time. “I’ve seen tons of people who have mutually followed each other for months start dating and it does happen,” Wood says. “Mutual fellowship is definitely a place where admiration and love can follow.”
It was Colin Chapin’s architectural photos that prompted Andrea Diaz to strike up a conversation with him on Instagram. In an interview with The Knot, Diaz said they started chatting in the comments section of their photos before taking the discussions to private message and then Skype. Despite living in different cities, they became a couple soon after and got married last year.
“I think if you follow someone’s work for a long time on Twitter or Instagram and have by this gained a good understanding of what fuels them, these sites can offer a lot more information about a person than conventional dating apps,” Wood says.
It’s often said that traveling with someone is the best way to get to know them. That’s what happened with YouTubers Vanessa Martinez and Jarl Anderson. The two started chatting as friends and each expressed an interest in traveling but despaired at the lack of a travel partner. That’s when they decided to set off for Paris, Tenerife, and London together despite never having met and living on two different continents. (Martinez is from Arizona and Anderson is from Norway.) The two are now a couple and have made their relationship YouTube official.
Is your hand is still hovering above the Message button? Take Wood’s words into account and good luck. Let us know how it goes!