Whether or not we'd like to admit it, we've all been there. Moving to new cities and jumping head first into the dating pool isn't easy. But we're guessing the real trick is standing out. Cue SeeClaudiaDate.com.
Claudia, a native Texan and recent New York transplant, spent the last year in South Florida trying to find Mr. Right with no luck. Now she's using social media to get her name and her goal out there: Go on 30 dates in 30 days, all before turning 30.
Sure, dating via her Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr pages is a bit unorthodox, but she didn't want to leave her fate solely in the hands of internet dating sites. The freelance producer for TV and new media is taking a possible social media addiction to the next level, and transforming her social media expertise into more than just a way to catch up with old friends and network with co-workers.
The "dates" are to start August 1, so New Times chatted up the 29-year-old to see why she came up with this social media experiment.
New Times: What inspired you to take to social media to look for dates?
Claudia: I'm very active in social media. I write a personal blog (mostly for my family and friends back home to keep up with my life), as well as have a Facebook, twitter, flickr, and whatever else type of account there is out there. So I figured, I have a great network of friends and strangers that I've never met. Why not reach beyond my circle of friends and put it out there to others and see what kind of response I get?
Have you already set up the 30 dates? How many do you have set up so far?
I definitely have not set up the 30 dates yet. I'm in the process of finalizing my dates for the first week right now. It's hard enough to land a date as it is, but to ask a guy to go on a date with you and invite photos and permission to write about it online for the world to see takes a load of confidence on their part. So needless to say, I've had guys write that they wish me luck, but that they don't have the balls do be a part of my social experiment.
What kind of guy are you hoping to attract?
I suppose I'm hoping to meet guys that can carry a good conversation. When trying to go on as many dates as I am, it will definitely be challenging to stay as interested in every single guy.
Why do you think social media is the key for success with finding these dates?
I don't think it's necessarily "the key," but I do think that it's kind of online dating 2.0. With social networking, you have friends and friends of those friends and can reach a larger amount of people than just who you interact with personally on a daily basis.
Why 30 dates in 30 days? Why not 300 dates in 300 days, or any other number?
Ha! Great question. Although most people think I'm crazy for attempting the 30 in 30. I'm realizing how difficult it will actually be to live up to it, which is part of the challenge. I can't imagine attempting to go on 300 dates just short of a year. Kudos to anyone who attempts that one.
How much are you letting the public in on these dates? Are you going to live tweet? Are you going to blog about them in detail the day after? Take to your Facebook page?
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I don't think I will update Twitter or my website while on the dates. I might say I'm on my way to meet someone, but I definitely don't want to be rude and want to give these guys my full attention. They're taking a chance on meeting me. The least I can do is give them the same respect. But I will definitely write about the dates after the fact. So many strangers are following this experiment that I not only feel the need to document it for myself, but to share with others who are being extremely supportive and wishing me luck in my endeavor.
What kind of backdrop has South Florida proven to be? Have South Florida's different social media avenues proved at all helpful?
Well, moving from NYC, I definitely feel the amount of people who are active in social networking is definitely smaller. But that's also due to the fact that New York City is the biggest media outlet with the biggest population in the U.S. But there are definitely groups of people that I've interacted with via Facebook and Twitter that have a tight knit social media group.
Claudia still has some room in her social calendar, so if you don't mind going on a date that will later be tweeted/Facebooked/blogged about, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.