By Ally Lopez > Senior > Journalism > University of Maryland, College Park; Photos courtesy of Cody Vine and by AR > Sophomore > Graphic Design > UMBC
Two years ago, Cody Vine was preparing to transfer to San Francisco State University from his previously attended junior college. While browsing the university’s student organization groups on Facebook, perusing through the profiles of his soon-to-be peers, a certain profile’s thumbnail caught his eye.
“I saw this one girl’s tiny little picture and even that small, she was stunning. I was intrigued and had to keep clicking,” he said. “Lucky for me, her profile wasn’t limited for those in S.F. State’s network so I had the chance to Facebook creep a little.”
Emily Dodson, a then-sophomore at San Francisco State, recalled logging onto her account one night, only to be surprised by the message she received. “I read it over and over,” she said. Skeptical of Vine’s intentions, she sought advice from her closest friends on what move to make next.
On campus—whether it be small or large—students are finding alternative ways to sift among the crowds in search of a meaningful relationship. They have been no exception to the millions of people worldwide engaging in a new trend: looking for love online.
Heavily-advertised sites like Match.com or eHarmony.com are renowned for their successful love stories, but what about social media? In the college world, we’ve found ways to accomplish almost anything over Facebook. Why not dating?
The message she received from Vine read:
My name is Cody and I’ll be transferring to S.F. State this semester. I was just looking through a few profiles and yours caught my eye. From the little that I can see, we have a lot in common. You’re beautiful, you have a great sense of humor and you look like a lot of fun. I’d like to talk and get to you, if you’re interested that is. If not, have a great semester and I hope we can be friends at the least.
Since they had no mutual friends, Emily had no way of knowing who this mysterious stranger was. Curious to learn, she accepted his friend request.
He turned out to be anything but mysterious: “From his profiles, to his statuses and photos, we actually did have a lot in common,” Dodson said, describing her initial reaction to Vine’s profile. “The same sense of humor, the same interests in movies, music, you know. Also, he was really hot.”
After a week of reluctance, Dodson finally responded to Vine’s message.
“I remember feeling so nervous writing a reply and so anxious waiting [on] a reply back that I was constantly checking my messages,” she recalled.
After the initial excitement of receiving a response, Vine messaged Dodson his cell phone along with an invite for an on-campus date the first week of classes.
“You know you always hear about those ‘butterflies’ a girl feels when she’s with a guy? I had butterflies just seeing he was online,” said Dodson. “When I would see a message notification, a chat notification, anything from him on Facebook pretty much just made my day. In fact, I still have that message saved.”
To add to the interest and uniqueness of their situation, the two decided to not speak on the phone or even over iChat until after their meeting. While other couples recall times spent on the phone all night, or getting to know each other after long talks, Dodson and Vine have a different version: nights spent on Facebook chat all night, waking up to “good morning” inbox messages from one another, and flirting via each other’s wall.
“Our first meeting was so much better than I expected,” he recalled. “I assumed we wouldn’t have much to talk about since we had spent three weeks getting to know each other online and talking every day.”
However, their initial proved Vine wrong: they met in between classes and after their days were over, they spent all night together. “It was amazing. I think because we built up the anticipation by putting off talking to each other over the phone and meeting each other just made it easier for us to actually talk, like really talk,” he said.
Two years later, the couple is still clicking away and “in a relationship,” Facebook informed us. So, be attentive of the next time you receive a “poke” or an invite to a luau, it could be your significant other.