Sunday, February 08, 2009

How to Fall in Love Online

The following "How To" Guide is written in facetious jest. Of course it is; Lisa is certainly not an expert in the area of love -- and especially not with that which is cultivated online. So be light-hearted and enjoy!

The procedure for falling in love online is quite methodical and should not be treated with the same clumsy randomness that one would have with meeting people at a club, bar, or other social location. Oh, goodness, no!

This is a highly specialized social strategy and is not for the weak-of-heart. It requires a serious investment of time and money, and if you can't do either, then online dating is not for you. But, if you're willing to do this thang right, it goes something like this:

  • Make sure your computer--and its connection to the Internet--is speedy. Much of online dating operates in Real Time, and if you're trudging along slowly with dial-up dinosaur or a finicky old PC, you're gonna miss 90% of the boats that sail. [Cost: $1,200 for a good laptop, $50 for a wireless modem, $80 per month for access.]
  • For goodness sake, make sure you have a digital camera. Profiles without pictures (or those that have very few) are going to be overlooked. [Cost: $200 for a good one.]
  • Don't try to save money by going for the free version of some online dating service. Sign up for the real thing, otherwise your dating life will be nothing more but a series of emoticons which lead to nothing. [Cost: $20 - $50 a month.]
  • Download all the major chat clients. Being void of a username for AIM, Yahoo, MSN, and the like will make you seem much older than the age listed on your profile. [Cost: FREE.]
  • Upgrade your cell phone plan to include free text messages. Sending a text message is like passing notes in school. It's absolutely formative to the development of a relationship, and who wants to be told to knock it off? Learn T9 or get a full keyboard because slow texters are a draaaag and do not carry a conversation well. [Cost: $5 - $10 extra per month.]
  • Change your plan so you get free nights (starting at 7 PM) and weekends on the celly. 99% of all online relationships have a distance factor, so reliance on the phone will eventually become a must. [Cost: $10 - $20 extra per month.]
  • Accept it: Social networking is here to stay. Make yourself more real by having a Facebook page and update it frequently with new photos and status updates -- otherwise you will seem decidedly boring. [Cost: FREE.]
  • Educate yourself on what Skype is and download it. Please. It's not at all optional. [Cost: FREE.]
  • If your laptop doesn't have a microphone or camera, hook up external ones. Believe it or not, it only takes one video conference to discern if there's chemistry, and you'll save yourself time and travel money. [Cost: $30 - $180.]
So, if you're serious about meeting someone online, be ready for the initial cost of $1,630, plus an additional $160 a month.

No, you can't put a price tag on love, but at least we can quantify the beginnings of it. :-)