Tuesday, March 27, 2007

How I met my wife through Friendster

It's amazing what the Internet can do these days. From a simple means to exchange information, it has become almost as indispensible as the telephone. Along with Napster, Bit Torrent, Yahoo and several pioneering concepts, Friendster probably ranks among them for its impact on the Internet and people's lives.

I've already heard of people touching base via chat or via dating sites, with some people ending up on the altar because of that. But I never thought much about Friendster and why people were so crazy about it. I eventually joined because my friends were pestering me about it (and how many months of pestering that was), but I thought it was all a fad, until I actually met my wife through Friendster.

It wasn't as anonymous as it sounds. We were already introduced a couple of years ago by a common friend. My date was from the province, but was working in Manila. Normally, I'm skeptical of blind dates due to some past unfavorable experiences with the process. Thankfully, this one turned out fine but I was too busy with work and wasn't ready for a relationship yet, so nothing really happened after two dates and we lost touch.

Fast forward to the middle of 2005. I don't know for what particular reason, but I felt that I was "ready" to get into a serious commitment. At least, I felt I was as ready as anyone could be for something that could lead to the life changing status called marriage. The problem, of course, was who I was going to share my life with.

My thoughts turned back to that blind date I had a few years ago. Unfortunately, I had lost my notebook of contacts (sorry, no Palm Pilot for me) , where I had written her contact details. Even the common friend who introduced us lost her contact details. After hitting myself on the head about the seeming hopelessness of it all, I came upon a shot in the dark idea: Friendster.

I reasoned that since many people were into Friendster, chances were high that she would have a Friendster account herself. The only challenge was to find her profile. So I tried to remember every detail I could about her like where she studied, her hometown, her age, etc. Luckily, Friendster could conduct searches based on those parameters.

After 3 days of diligent cross-searching, I noticed that one profile kept coming up. At first I wasn't sure it was her because all the pictures in her profile were that of a Korean actress (a case against not posting your real picture in Friendster). But, there was nothing to lose, so I sent a private message anyway. After one day, she replied and it was indeed her! It turns out she had returned to the province, but she still goes to Manila occassionally. Soon after that first contact, we would go out during her trips to Manila and chat a lot during the times she was in the province.

Pretty soon, we officially became a couple and a little over a year later, we got happily married. I never thought I'd be part of a unique story such as this, but there it is, all because of Friendster. It really does help you to reconnect with old friends! How's that for a product that delivers?

I'm still not as hardcore into Friendster as other people are, but neither do I think that it's a pointless fad anymore. Sometimes you get something out of the most unexpected places, and my experience with Friendster proves it. Just like what Forrest Gump said, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get."

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