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Online Dating, Social Media and a Big Bag of Crazy

Posted Feb 28 2013 3:25pm

Perhaps you can recall some of my more hilarious online dating woes . I mean, when I think about the parade of total lunatics I've encountered -- Goldfish Josh, Mr. "I'm not gay, I swear," The Babymaker -- it's a wonder I've not yet converted and joined up with a conclave of nuns. 

I'm on board with their outfits. I dig black minimalist fashion.

In any case, Tuesday night's Social Media Club LA panel focusing on online dating and social media was of particular interest to me. Admittedly, I was sorta skeptical at first - as I am about ALL things pertaining to online dating, but I really enjoyed myself and the panelists were pretty great, in fact.

It may have helped that I put a couple beers away at the top of the night, but I'd like to think my feelings were genuine. ;)

Incidentally, who knew I liked Rolling Rock? But I digress...

Our panelists were Julie SpiraJennifer Kelton and  Scott Lewallen , who has great chemistry as a trio and I enjoyed a lot of what they had to say. Although I think my favorite was Scott - and not just cuase he's easy on the eyes - he just handled my drunken Q&A moment well! 

 

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From left to right - Moderator Deb Eckerling, Julie Spira of Cyber Dating Expert , Scott Lewallen of Grindr and Jennifer Kelton of Bad Online Dates

And ultimately, what I found,  is that a lot of what they had to say about online dating was kind of applicable in LIFE. This both annoyed the crap out of me (because that makes dating more important that I wish it were) and interested me. Here were the key takeaways for me:

 

  • Originally, Scott Lewallen and his co-founder  scribbled the idea for creating Grindr  on a napkin. I do shit like this all the time so I can only conclude the million-dollar idea is out there...
  • Be authentic, genuine and find a unique voice. About online dating or life? I think both.
  • "People love instant gratification, but community building in social media takes time," said Julie Spira. Good things come to those who wait! 
  • "Put your best foot forward in online dating, just like when you go to a cocktail party. Cultivate those relationships," said Scott. Point being - look good, feel good, know your shit, right? The panel went on to talk about nourishing your relationships. I think there was a garden metaphor. COrny but true, I think.
  • Is an emotional approach better than a statistical one? I think anything is better when there's some passion behind it. Connecting is what it's all about, right?
  • Proofread, be timely and relevant, put out quality information.
  • Get back to people. Which is one of my pet peeves. We're human beings. We love closure.
  • Cut the bullshit. Know your goal. Eyes on the horizon. (Maybe athletes pool their motives from online dating, too?)
  • Don't burn bridges. Be kind. I always liked this - and I'm paraphrasing: You never know if the face you punch today will be connected to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow.
  • Don't stalk. (I'm going to ignore this advice. Just owning that right now.)
  • Get input from trusted sources. 
  • Know yourself. Find your voice. Know who you are. You gain nothing by lying to yourself, right?

It's kinda of ironic that when SMCLA started planning this panel I was a skeptic, icy-hearted single and by the time of the panel, I was (am) part of a couple born out of online dating... So be it. I think I'm never ever going to be able to let go of my cynicisum. I mean, if you are supposed to know yourself, I know I am nothing if NOT a cynic! 

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