Update: How (Not) to Find a Last-Minute Valentine Using Social Media

I seem to have struck out. After 2+ hours, my quest to find a last-minute Valentine using social media has come up dry. There's reason for you to be hopeful on your own search, though.

For one, it's not exactly romantic to include terms and conditions of your proposition. And for another, I probably could have executed this a little better. Here's how things went down:

The Best: Facebook

One of the more serious offers I got came from a friend's older brother offering up his fiancé's sister. Which was kind of confusing, but he seemed pretty excited about it. I got a few similar offered hookups on Facebook, and honestly, that sort of makes sense. At least for me, Facebook has the most people that I actually know, and might offer to set me up with someone.

The Most Horrifying: Craigslist

Again, obvious. Makes sense. But good god, I can't believe for a second that a person can find anything but casual (and equally horrifying) sex on craigslist. At least as a guy making a post. I received a few replies from reply-bots advertising escort services, and one very graphic proposition, with embedded pictures.

hopin to hav some fun. rly like your pix. do u no red hoko?! wanna accom* at my house

Our research shows that "accom" basically means "have sex at my house," which we didn't know.

The Worst: Twitter

Don't look for dates on Twitter, unless you're a professional athlete. It's terrible! I got a bunch of replies and retweets, but no one actually taking the exercise seriously. OK, it probably didn't help that my account is infested with horrible trolls posting not-super-helpful things, but still. The very format makes actually interacting on a serious level impossible. What's tremendous for digesting a headline or breaking bits of news is not so great for asking someone to engage with you on a human level.

Radio Silence: Google+, OkCupid

Well this was my first public post on Google+, and I've only posted one or two things to it since I got into the beta, so it turning up dry isn't much of a surprise. In OkCupid's case, this wasn't incredibly fair. I set up a totally new profile, and only answered a few dozen questions and filled in the essays. The service just isn't set up to attract people on a specific day, and immediately. I probably (maybe?) would have had better luck if I'd reached out and messaged people.

Lessons Learned

Don't wait until Valentine's Day afternoon to try to get a date. But if you have to, and you work up the guts to ask people who you (sort of) know for help, just be sincere. Finding a date online is a lot like finding one in real life: You stand a much better chance of finding one if you don't just sit on your ass and wait for someone to approach you. Send someone a message on OkCupid. Or reply to a craigslist ad that doesn't appear to be a prostitute (even though it's probably a prostitute). Always include a picture. Basically, don't half-ass it.