Saturday, 8 August 2009
Twitter as a Dating Site
It’s the weekend. You’re at home, your latest flame having preferred to spend the night with his/her cat rather than paint the town pink with your hawt self. You crack the four-pack, you reach for the DVD… then it strikes you…
You could always try…
After all – shhhh! - what have you got to lose?
So, you need a profile. You find a picture – of yourself is good, funny, (more-or-less) clean (let’s face it, we’re all pretty sick of Britney’s mouthful). A good pic on a dating site ups your hits instantly and Twitter is just the same. The second thing – don’t add numbers to your @name – @bigcock4U may give completely the wrong idea. Rise above the sea of spam and look like an individual.
Then you need to start tweeting. On a dating site, blanket-bombing the closest 500 men/women to your location is unlikely to win you a dream date. Why? Because people like to feel special. Take time, add people individually or in small groups and talk to them. Warmth, accessibility, humanity, humour – all of these things count in your favour. Let’s face it; anyone tweeting from home on a Saturday night is probably conversation-hungry too.
If someone follows you, check their profile; if they’re human, follow them back. The skill to setting a promising date – and a promising twitter profile – is two-way communication (and besides, if people don’t follow me back I always feel like I’m eavesdropping). If their twitterstream is an endless list of links – or indeed if they’re a nubile young lady offering you a webcam – they’re probably not up for conversation.
Be on the lookout for the single-tweet ad-profile and the self-professed social media marketeers who follow 4,000 other self-professed social media marketeers. Much like the local sexual professional who’s on your dating site for business purposes, they’re trying to sell you something you only think you need.
Back to setting up that great first date. If someone on twitter @addresses you, talk back to them. You can check their hawtness rating if you like (after all, no-one said you couldn’t get dates through twitter), but it’s the start of a conversation – and maybe a friendship. (Maybe a coffee, dinner…?) In its earliest days, twitter was a global village, a powerful community… don’t lose sight of that.
Watch your mouth. No, I don’t mean like that – I mean remember that anything you tweet is searchable. We’ve had one lawsuit, don’t be the next one. After all, if your husband/wife/boss finds out exactly what you said about… you get the idea. Stay out of the hot water!
A little self-promotion is forgiven, even expected. By all means, tell people you’re fit, and have a GSOH – be chuffed with your achievements and tweet a link to your latest blog genius. But there are respectful limits – if all you do is talk about how cool you are, you’re not going to impress that hawt date…
…but you will if you ask him/her to talk a little about themselves. You know the drill – good eye-contact is always the cincher. Hard to manage that on twitter, but remember the basics: say ‘thank you’, show appreciation by a retweet or a #followfriday, tweet links to cool shit that you didn’t write. If you want to convince your date you’re interesting and knowledgeable – it’s a sure-fire win!
(Don’t over do it, though, no-one likes an arse-kisser).
This is all pretty facetious, but the core message remains: just because it’s twitter doesn’t mean you can be a twat. Remember that your followers are individuals. They may (possibly) not be a date, but that doesn’t mean you can treat them like a statistic.
(And if you’re still stuck for that date? Get off your sodding arse and go to the pub!)
Oh - and the Harry Potter snogging picture came from this fanfiction site.