Dating in the DM – The Potential of the Facebook Direct Messenger

facebook-snapchat-twitter-instagram-messenger

In Lieu of Valentines day, and for those of us who are still single—it’s time to get un-single or at least find a date (in less than 24 hours).

Let’s talk about the Direct messenger. Also known as, “the DM,” or, “getting in-boxed.” The most notable Direct Messenger is the stand alone Facebook app. There are others that exist such as, WhatsApp, WeChat, Snapchat, Kik, QQ, Skype, Viber and LINE. I choose to speak about Facebook Messenger because it’s directly connected to your Facebook app. Which is, needless to say, the most powerful social network in the world. The others are popular, but do not compare to Facebook Messenger.

Yes, Facebook is the devil. (I’m kidding).

Direct messenger is the devil - or is it
Photo Credit: Chris Newnham

The Bad

Messenger is notorious for spammers, scammers, married people seeking side relationships (side piece) outside their spouse, people in relationships seeking a threesome, people in relationships seeking someone outside their partner (without their partners knowledge of course). And finally, people seeking relationships with a complete stranger or someone on their friends list. Which is, completely harmless.

That being said, I don’t want to talk about the negative aspect of the direct messenger. Let’s talk about all the features, positive experiences and stories that have come from a simple acknowledgement of a Direct Message.

 

It Goes Down In The DM

Woman-holding-home-accessing-direct messenger
Photo Credit: i-m priscilla

What does that mean? It means, “embrace the direct messenger.” Be open to the possibilities that a simple direct message can bring you. I get it, you don’t know this person in-boxing you. They are not on your friends list, you have no mutual friends. So who are they? Is their page fake? “Let’s go look.” “he has 1000 friends and a few recent posts people have responded too.”

Instead of engaging him, you ignore him. Why? His message was respectful. He introduced himself, told you upfront that you didn’t know each other and had no affiliation, but he saw you on a public Facebook post and wanted to ask about you. Sounds like a decent introduction to me. And what’s the worse that can happen? It’s not like he’s a TV repairman turned death row criminal that will come through your internet modem and kill you. It’s an online experience. If you don’t like what has to say, it’s as easy as, “close and block.” Stop ignoring those DM pings. You know you see that message notification. If you are curious to see if someone has messaged you that is not on your friends list, go to your filtered message (message requests) inbox.  You will probably find a few people who tried to reach out to you.

By The Numbers

It’s important for you to understand just how many users on Facebook designate as single. Now compare that against the users in a relationship or involved (it’s complicated).

The below data states there were 669,600,000 active Facebook users designated as single as of, September 7th of 2016.

Single 37 %
Married 31 %
In a Relationship 24 %
Engaged 3 %
It’s Complicated 3 %
source: Statistic Brain, September 7th, 2016.

That’s a lot of single people on one website.  Of course there’s a percentage of those users that are not single, but are designated as single. But let’s just say that percentage is 20%. That still leaves 535,680,000 single people on Facebook, and you only need to meet 1.  Also, there’s a high possibility that of those 535,680,000 users that at least 10 of them will reach out to you at some point during your time on Facebook. 1 of those 10 might be your future mate. So the odds are definitely in your favor.  But not if you don’t embrace your DM.

Oh yeah… As of April 2016 The Facebook Messenger had 900 million active users.  By July 2016 the number was 1 billion.

Consequently, you have a better chance meeting someone on Facebook for free, by simply letting it, “go down.”

What do you have to lose?

A Different Perspective On the Direct Messenger

Right now you’re giving this article the side-eye. Like…”I can’t.” Really? Think about it. If you’re single, there’s high chance that you have been on a dating site. Or at least visited one before because you were curious. Dating sites are about as random as they come. At least with Facebook, some of the random people who reach out to you with romantic interests have mutual friends or connections. On dating sites, the meetings are completely random no matter how much they say they’re, “matching,” you. That being said, if you can go to a dating site and spend time setting up a profile, sourcing through profiles and responding direct messages and emails (while paying). Why wouldn’t you try it on Facebook which is free as the air we breathe?

Free vs Paid… no-brainer right?

Direct Messenger Success

It doesn’t take much. A posted pic or comment and someone will be inspired to send a message that will potentially lead to a relationship. Success favors the bold. So….be bold!

Success happens a lot more often than you think. People will talk about all the DM horror stories and frighten off those of us who might be open a random message request, had we not listened to them in the first place. Block out all that interference and go for it!

But hey… you don’t have to listen to me… according to TheKnot.com, below is a real life example of how going outside your box and opening yourself up to something unconventional, can lead to happiness.

They Met On Facebook

THE COUPLE: Kendra Cowser, 30, and Sean O’Brien, 32
WHEN THEY MET: January 2010
WEDDING DATE: September 14, 2013

Direct Messenger-Woman-Man-Laying down-next-each-other
Photo Credit: Two Rivers Photography

THEIR STORY: Kendra rarely friended anyone on Facebook other than people she knew, but in 2009 fate stepped in when Sean sent her a friend request. Although Kendra didn’t know him, he lived near her hometown of Galva, Illinois, and thought they might have mutual friends in common, so she accepted. None of his friends looked familiar though so she just let it go, until six months later when Sean started “liking” some of her photos. One night as she was packing up her apartment in Chicago getting ready to coincidentally head back to Galva, Kendra finally decided to satisfy her curiosity and message him. Sean responded immediately and they ended up writing back and forth all night. And then every day forward. It turns out Sean didn’t know her but she popped up in his list of people he might know. “I saw a cute girl and I wanted to add her,” he recalls. Both admitted that neither of them was planning on starting a relationship at the time, but it sure turned into one. Two days after Kendra was back in Galva, Sean was at her doorstep with a bottle of wine to celebrate meeting in person. In July 2012, Sean messaged her on Facebook (of course!) to ask her to go ring shopping—his way of proposing—and last September they threw a huge bash that their guests described as “the best wedding they’ve ever been to!”

a few more success stories

 

#EMBRACETHEDM

It’s not hard, just proactively send a message or respond to one that comes into your inbox. I’d quickly vet them out. Check their page, make sure they have an acceptable amount of friends (No new pages). Check for mutual friends. Also, see if they have some public posts you can view. Click on a few pics, and go from there.

You’ve got 1 more day!

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Follow Friday

Hi Everyone,

Happy Friday!

This is my first #followfriday post.  I have met so many wonderful people and I would like us to connect through the various social channels.  Currently I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google +. Would you like to connect?

Facebook
I am definitely trying to increase my likes as well as readership. So, please click this link: A Thomas Point of View and go to my page. Don’t forget to hit the like button.

FB Page for A Thomas Point of View

 

Twitter

I’m also on Twitter. If you are on Twitter too, check me out and follow me. I will follow back. You can follow me on Twitter by clicking this link:  MsKeeinMD and clicking the follow button.

Twitter for mskeeinmd

Instagram

I’m also on Instagram and would love to connect with you as well. You would just need to type in my name in the search button and my page will come up and just follow me or you can just click here:  MsKeeinMD

Instagram

Google +

For those of you that use Google, I’m also on Google +. You can add me to your circles here: Tikeetha

Google +

Well, that’s all my social pages, I would love to connect and thank you for following me on this #followfriday post. Have a wonderful weekend!

No Fat Chicks!

Sometimes the hardest thing we can do is put ourselves out there. You know go “all in” to show someone we are ready and willing to be available to let happiness and love come into our lives. Dating has changed dramatically since I was last single. I’ve expressed how I’ve tried the on-line dating thing and my experiences from some of the men. That being said, I wonder what would have happened if no one tried to contact me after I posted my profile? That was the case of one woman who wrote an article about her experience on XO Jane last month.

The article titled “IT HAPPENED TO ME: I Tried Online Dating And No One Even Messaged Me Back” was depressing to me. I mean her profile and picture looked nice, what was wrong with men? Why didn’t they find her attractive? The author, Patrice Bendig, was crushed that not one person messaged her back. She put herself out there and was emotionally crushed by people who never got to find out how incredible she was.

She said that her self-esteem took a hit and as a curvy girl, my heart ached for her. I think one of the hardest things women (especially curvy women) deal with is finding someone who will admit to liking a thick um and wanting to be seen in public with them. All things curvy women fear. The fear of rejection is real and I think we need to stop acting like loving and dating a curvy girl is the end of the world.

Why would it be? Just because I have a little more cushion doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in exercise or am one step away from being featured on an episode of “Obsessed: I Weigh 650 Pounds and Can’t Get Out of Bed”. Nope. Not me. I am not ashamed of my size and I don’t want a man who is ashamed to be with me. I love the shape of my hips and the curve of my thighs. The stretch marks from carrying a king. All badges of honor that I wear well while working out on the treadmill.

Curvy girls come with a certain level of confidence, but that confidence is fragile when you find yourself dating and trying to meet new people who think you need to just work out and they will help you because they are a certified personal trainer. I’m always cautious about men who approach me and say they like thick women. They find curvy girls sexy. Really? So, everyone else is below par if they are smaller? Why are you saying you are a closet chubby chaser? (May not be rational, but I’m guarded).

Even one of my favorite plus size bloggers, CeCe Olisa blogged about her experiences in an article on Refinery 29 titled “Is Online Dating Different for Plus Size Women”. CeCe said “It can feel like everyone has an amazing dating life but you, and it can feel like you only attract people who have issues or fetishes. But, someone reminded me that those things happen to girls of any size.” But, do skinny women get humiliated like a faux curvy woman did in this Tinder experiment? (In case you don’t know, Tinder is an app that matches people based on appearances).

Probably not. I mean the guys who conducted the social experiment even said that women’s biggest fears about meeting a man on line is that he is a serial killer whereas a man’s biggest fear…meeting a fat chick. Wow! Let’s sound the alarm and have a revolution against ignorance. What happened to men who appreciated beautiful women inside and out? Where did they go? Can the non-jerks who love God, their family, curvy women and are employed please stand up?

In an “Instagram I got to show you how I can twerk like Nikki Minaj and close the partition like Beyoncé age” it makes me wonder how many times curvy girls will keep getting the short end of the stick in dating? Are we resigned to believe that we have to take what we can get because they’re not a lot of options out there? What happened to getting to know me first before trying to guess my pant size?

A lot of stuff huh? Well I’m going to deal with it like my momma said, “Put your big girl panties on and formulate a plan.” My plan is simple. Keep my expectations low, my self-esteem high and have a lot of confidence to carry me through this foolishness. Rejection is a part of the process. Rejection builds character. It is in our painful experiences that we can grow and realize that we were built to last.

¡Viva la revolución mis hermanas

(Long live the revolution my sisters!)

Here’s the social experiment video:

I Remember

I remember seeing domestic violence first hand as a child. I remember the sounds of fists flying and blood curdling screams. I remember. I remember broken glass and bruised body parts. I remember crying and wanting it to end. I remember.

By now, you all have seen the Ray Rice video that was posted by TMZ on Monday that showed Ray knocking out his then fiancee, Janay Palmer (now wife), in an elevator in Atlantic City last February. I was heartbroken. I talked about domestic violence a couple of months when Stephen A. Smith made that asinine comment about provoking violence. It seems that I need to say more.

How about this? Safe Horizon states that:

  • Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men
  • Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
  • Every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner

The Families Suffer too:

  • Every year, more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes.
  • Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence also suffer abuse or neglect at high rates (30% to 60%).
  • A 2005 Michigan study found that children exposed to domestic violence at home are more likely to have health problems, including becoming sick more often, having frequent headaches or stomachaches, and being more tired and lethargic.
  • A 2003 study found that children are more likely to intervene when they witness severe violence against a parent – which can place a child at great risk for injury or even death.

I Remember

The Ravens dropped Ray Rice from their roster and he is no longer employed after the video was posted. Now, there is a question of whether they had seen the full video prior to the two game suspension or were they just doing it after the full video was posted and everyone was outraged. No one knows. That situation is still being fleshed out and will come to light shortly about who knew what when, but what was surprising was the Instagram post by Janay.

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Wow! Is Janay really worrying about Ray having to get a job after knocking her out? I know she didn’t want her life thrust into the public, but when you marry a professional athlete and he knocks you out in public, you can’t hide. Think Rihanna and Chris Brown. Rihanna probably wished that her abuse wasn’t made national news, but remember what the Bible says:

For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.  Mark 4:22 (NIV)

I can’t imagine the humiliation she feels, but this situation right here needed to come to light. We needed to see this so that we can shed light on the fact that 1 out of every  4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. We need to talk about it. We need to get help and we need to hold each other accountable for our choices. Choices have consequences. Good or bad, you must live with the decision. I know that if Janay had a clock she would love to rewind the events that occurred that fateful evening, but she doesn’t. She will always remember.

My advice is simple: Stand up. Be accountable. Get help. Use this tragedy for your triumph. Teach others and know that you will always remember.