Today we introduce “Social Media Living,” a brand new series from the talented Olori Supergal on how social media can have implications on our lives – maybe even in love! At SMW Lagos we’re all about African entrepreneurship, technology and new media but what about the way our personal lives are affected by our interactions on Social Media?

Read the column below:

In an increasingly busy world where there’s hardly ever time to even get all our stuff done, meeting people seems like such a chore!

Most people grow up to the harsh reality of how small their circle really is where everyone seems to know everyone else. So, you’re in your mid twenties and the summary of your social life is a beer every weekend and a marathon of “keeping up with the Kardashians”.

You probably think you’ll end up a lonely thirty something year old with your parents hooking you up with everyone of the opposite sex within a mile radius.

The reality is really not that gloomy; thanks to social media networking sites, the world has become a truly global village. It is astounding how easy it is to meet people off network sites. If you simply consider that Facebook has well over a billion users with Twitter some way behind at over 220 million users, the possibilities are endless.

These social media sites which started as innocuous means of keeping in touch with old friends and new acquaintances have arguably metamorphosed into quasi dating sites.

There are many examples of people who have found love on social media; Australian musician Iggy Azalea who’s been seeing Nick Young since 2013 admits they met on twitter! “We tweeted a couple of times and then we met up. It’s not desperate, it’s about admiring”

The great thing about social media sites like twitter is it gives you the kind of avenue to peek into people’s thought processes via their tweets and when you indeed decide you like how they think, it’s totally up to you to take it to the next level by sending a Direct Message (a private messaging feature).

Popular  Nigerian  story writer Tunde is not ashamed to admit he found love on twitter; having tied the knot with his social media Tweetheart, perhaps his story is one we should listen to;

On one of the days network was horrible, I had to stay in an awkward position to tweet. I tweeted about this and she responded that she was in a similar position. I opened the avi and it turned out to be a pretty babe I knew was a friend’s cousin and a colleague’s friend. I had seen the same picture on her avi used as BB display pictures on her birthday and had said “all these fine girls”.

Anyway, I dug into her twitter up to that birthday to see if there were any pictures with boo and such for her birthday. When I didn’t see, I knew I had hit a jackpot. I entered her DM and we starter chatting daily. Good thing was she read fiction on my blog and already knew about me from that so we had a lot to talk about.

I set up a date at La Mango after she returned from a trip for a friend’s wedding.  Already made up my mind I wanted to be with her. Interestingly,  she was also my bestie’s classmate in secondary school and birthday mate too so he knew her and also said great things about her. Armed with my own research and feedback from all the people that knew her, I asked her out on the first date and she said yes.

And so began an 18-month romance that ended with marriage on September 20, 2014.”

That’s instructive enough for the skeptics; it is totally possible to tweet your way into a meaningful relationship. There are more than enough examples to support that relationships initiated on social media can be as meaningful as any other relationships.

The great thing about social networking sites is that they allow you the kind of freedom to flirt, like and tweet your way into the arms of your prospective other. All this without even leaving the comfort of your bedroom.

And for the skeptics, perhaps it’s time for them to admit that a large number of people now spend an increasingly alarming percentage of their time on social media. Look around you and ask yourself, how many of your close friends DON’T have social networking accounts?

Perhaps it is necessary to balance the narrative and say that some of the relationships initiated on social media are ended for the same reason; partners who refuse to stop flirting or sending inappropriate messages to other people on their social network accounts.

Maybe, just maybe the growing obsession with social networks drives many people to abandon real life pursuits to seek online validation instead.

It is impossible to talk about social network sites in Nigeria without mentioning security and the need to ensure safety when meeting up with people online.

So, here’s a final word for would be “love seekers” on social networks; put your best foot forward with intelligent and humorous tweets or candid opinions on things you find interesting. The key is to get noticed and all the other good stuff is likely to come afterwards.

And then, of course, it doesn’t hurt to be careful!

Follow Olori Supergal on Twitter and Instagram

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