Since Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter late last month, half of its employees have quit or been fired, leading observers to wonder if the platform will even remain functional for the rest of the year. .
But before the chaos and its potential end, Twitter was often a cute (or in some cases, thirsty) hangout. Users would post a concise response to someone’s tweet, “like” a thirst trap in the wee hours of the morning, or shoot their shot in DMs.
Some people who have found success with this scheme? John Mulaney and Olivia “Sending SO Much Love” Munn, Phoebe Bridgers and Paul Mescal, and Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, among other celebrities.
Or take the story of Paige and Ian Savino from Nashville, Tennessee. The two started dating in November 2020, got engaged in April 2021 and married the following September. They have Twitter.com to thank for their romance.
“In 2020, I decided to take Twitter seriously and started making friends,” Paige Savino told HuffPost. “A friend of mine on Twitter knew my [later] husband in real life, and while she was interacting with my tweets, Ian saw them.
Ian Savino had read an “about me” thread from his future wife detailing how passionate she was about mental health, video games and family. This compelled him to reach out to DMs – although he swore he was not one to “slip into DMs”.
He messaged her asking if she would be up for a “100% platonic” Zoom call.
“He was sincere that he just wanted to be friends, but our feelings quickly changed,” Paige Savino recalled.
The couple’s first phone conversation lasted three hours, and each subsequent call got longer.
“Then he sent me a video of him singing,” Paige Savino said. “The next day we FaceTimed, and I opened the call with a burp and he didn’t run away.”
At the end of the conversation, he told her, “I always wanted to be with a person who would put on a banana suit and roller skate with me.”
“He asked, ‘Are you that kind of person?’ I absolutely am,” she said.
True to his word, Ian Savino drove hours to meet her and got out of the car in a banana suit – the first of multiple suits he would show off during their relationship.
“At our engagement photo shoot, he surprised me by buying us dinosaur costumes,” she said. “He’s my brand of weird.”
Looking back on their bird app-assisted courtship, Paige Savino couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out.
“Twitter is such an unorganized space, and I love that it saw my unfiltered self and wanted to get to know me,” she said.
For Policygenius reporter Myles Ma, the DM-slide-to-dating pipeline was a bit more roundabout. While working as a local reporter, Ma covered a gun control rally at a church in Ridgewood, New Jersey. He happened to tweet a picture of some gun rights counter-protesters who had come forward.
“I was doing the classic ‘both sides’ journalism thing, and Em was calling me,” Ma, who lives in Durham, North Carolina, told HuffPost.
The reporter found Em cute and smart on their behalf, so he not-so-subtly slipped into their DMs to ask them out for coffee. The two are now married and have a son together.
“We turned this DM into an ice cream decoration, which was served to our [wedding] rehearsal dinner,” Ma said.
Josh Summitt met their partner, Jordan, over a drunken tweet.
“It was a rainy night and I was drunk editing photos for a class project during junior high in the spring of 2012,” they recall. “I tweeted that I wanted to dance in the rain. And my current partner Jordan replied that they wish they could too.
It turned into an almost uninterrupted week-long Twitter back and forth before Summitt worked up the courage to send Jordan his number in DMs.
“I knew about them because they were a small local queer community and there were a few mutuals, but that was about it,” Summitt said. “I didn’t know if it was going to be just an adventure, but I knew I wanted to know more.”
The couple will now be 12 years together.
Could they have met outside of Twitter? Maybe, but Summitt doubts it.
“We ran in very different circles and were at different universities,” they said. “Honestly, I don’t think we would have met if Jordan hadn’t replied to one of my random drunk tweets.”
Yeaulonne Waters, a huge Kansas City Chiefs fan, met her future fiancé, Sean, while trolling people on Twitter one night.
“Kansas City had just beaten the Raiders, so I was looking for Raiders fans to troll,” said Waters, who lives in southern Virginia. “I came across a tweet that I replied to and found out he was my man’s best friend. My fiancé replied to a tweet and we followed each other.
That was in 2016. Later, in 2019, Sean DMed Waters asking for personal advice. An online relationship was born from there. In November 2020, she traveled 1,300 miles to spend Thanksgiving with her family.
“I went home until February 2021. And I was only supposed to stay for three weeks, and now we’re getting married in 2024. Kudos to Twitter, his best friend, and the Chiefs beating the Raiders!” Waters laughed.
Considering all of the personal relationships Waters has made on the platform — not just Sean, but other friends as well — she’s “really upset” about her uncertain future.
“I’m part of several different Twitter communities: NFL Twitter, Black Twitter, ‘Law & Order’ Twitter, ‘One Chicago’ Twitter,” she said. “I’ve met so many people here, including some of my closest friends.”
‘Internet friends’ have always had a bad rap – there’s a lingering belief that a friendship is only worthwhile if it’s made “in real life” – but Waters said his online connections are as strong as all the connections she made in person.
Many feel this. As one essayist on Medium wrote in 2018, “For many members of marginalized communities, including…women, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQI+-identifying people, and the chronically ill, spaces in line can be a rare and incredibly impactful, even life-saving sanctuary.
Waters sees Twitter as such a space, desperate as it is.
“My Twitter friends and I laughed through the hard times. We laugh, we cry. They’ve been there through my happiest times and my saddest times,” she said. feel like there are so many issues we’ve impacted because of Twitter, and getting rid of that app is like getting rid of a part of me.”
Others are less sentimental about the possibility of Twitter going down.
“I’m not a nostalgic person to begin with, so I’m not going to shed any tears if and when a really bad website goes down,” Ma said. “If anyone knows the value of Twitter, it’s clearly me. . But I’m not sure that outweighs the evil of the worst people on earth platform.
His wife feels a little differently. “Em is more nostalgic and will miss having a place to scream about ‘The Bachelor,'” Ma said.
Paige Savino has two opinions on the possible collapse of the platform: she is sad, indifferent, but mostly trying to resist the doomsday narrative on her Twitter feed.
“I’ve met a lot of great people, including my husband, on Twitter. But a lot of us have connected outside of the Twittersphere,” she said. “It’s disappointing to see the Twitter’s collapse, but my friendships won’t end, even if the platform does.”
The Huffington Gt