digital nation - life on the virtual frontier

Plea for a Digital Love Story

November 25, 2009 _ 10:27 / Caitlin McNally / comments (11)

people in jpg
We're desperately seeking a great story about love in the digital age, and we need your help.

We all know the stories about people who have met online, rekindled old flames through Facebook, and texted their way to marital bliss. We know that the Internet and digital technology have helped bring us together in ways that would have been impossible in the past. Now, we're looking to go a little deeper.

We're seeking to find a true love story; a tale of heartbreak, a struggle with infidelity and temptation, or a seemingly hopeless situation that was turned around due to technology's role. For example, an innocent text message that spiraled in to a steamy back and forth and almost broke up a happy marriage. Or, alternately, a story about someone in a committed relationship who finds a way to rekindle excitement and danger through Facebook messages, Skype or some other digital tool.

According to Alice Mathias in the New York Times, "Communication has been streamlined by the Internet, and something essential to the process of falling in love has been lost. We can type up carefully crafted statements rather than go face-to-face and improvise from the heart, thereby risking embarrassment, vulnerability or Oscar-worthy dialogue. We can Google our way into the museums of each other's identities -- and fall in love there." Digital Nation wants to find out if this is indeed true: we want to investigate if we're losing control in the face of the limitless possibility and instant gratification technology provides.

Ideally, we'd like to hear from people between the ages of 30 and 50. We all know that teens are texting and sexting, hooking up and breaking up online, but what is really of interest to us is mature relationships in the digital age.

We're of course looking for people who are good talkers and willing to share their stories, and we're also hoping to find people for whom these experiences with love online have been deep and meaningful. We're searching for a story that will hopefully work its way in to our film, so we're looking to go beyond just casual anecdote. In other words, we're looking for real drama, with real stakes and consequences.

If you know someone who has a story or if you can think of someone we should talk to who might know someone who has a story, please let us know! You can comment on our site, twitter with the #dig_nat tag, or just send us a good old-fashioned at If you've got an idea for us, please write out as many of the details as possible, and also be sure to include a way for us to get in touch with you.

photo credit: cc flickr pyrogenic


A love story? I have one, but we are out of your box (over 50 years old). We have met in Second Life, and have been partnered more than 2 years in this "metaverse". I am happily married in RL, my SL partner is single. But... there is this "place" of inner being, only one can experience in a virtual world. A place where one creates one's own world. My sim is my utopia, but always evolving. I dance like Vishnu,(or perhaps just the juggler who runs around the stage to spin plates). If you want to contact me, and further articulate this other way of being, please email.

Leondra / December 01, 2009 _ 00:00

I guess I don't understand how a person can be happy through a fabricated life online. Live your real life in the REAL world.

torie / December 02, 2009 _ 11:35

I wrote an online journal during the dot com boom of the late 90's. There was no such thing as a "blog" back then, and my stories true events driving a San Francisco taxicab. In the midst of great reviews and many readers Yahoo came to my cab company, outfitting ten of the taxis with laptops that were online via a wireless 56k modem. Back then, this was big. So I was offered not only a way to publish but a way to show any rider my journal first hand, hopefully getting a new fan. In December 1999 I picked up a lady from the airport and drove her to her home in the city. The half hour ride gave me enough time to pitch my site, and myself. For six months afterward she emailed in to the site, as many others did. I had others who wrote in, interested in the journal, and me, but never gave out my phone number. Sandy for instance wrote in often, but I didn't know if Sandy was a fat guy in Chicago... but I had met Lorelle that one time. So I emailed her my number after many emails had been exchanged. She waited a week to call, but soon after we fell in love, getting married and having a daughter. We just celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary December 1st, 2009.
The original "online journal" and all the email people sent me during that time is in my book titled "My Fare City".
bud carson

bud carson / December 02, 2009 _ 23:41

I don't know if this story counts or not. :o)

A few years after my husband unexpectedly passed away, a friend of mine contacted me via email about a friend of hers whose wife had just passed away suddenly and was really hurting. She gave me his email address and we began corresponding.

I was his "widow buddy" for at least a year before things changed between us and we met for the first time. He lived in a different state, so a lot of our conversations took place via email or telephone.

Our relationship ended when he married someone else while making promises to me via email.

Dawn Bushman / December 03, 2009 _ 13:58

I have run an online dating group called "Geek Dating" for a while now and have found that striking a match is especially tough, but when it happens, the couple bonds very well. Some people who aren't as conscious of the dynamics of the environment might not do well because they may not understand that personalities can be very different over the Internet than they are in real life. Also, people learn very quickly that if they try to market themselves on the Internet in a certain way, they'd better be alble to deliver when they meet in real life.

Personally? I have dated a few people on the Internet and have found great results. The first good match resulted in an engagement [well after we met in real life, dated, moved in together etc.] that was only cut short when he got a job in Istanbul. That was a no go for me. We're still good friends. Now, I've been dating a great guy for almost a year. We got a chance to get to know one another well before meeting, and really had an understanding of whether our personalities had chemistry before the physical chemistry came into play. Wonderfully, the physical chemistry was there as well. All in all, it's been great for me.

Paula / December 03, 2009 _ 14:02

I met my husband online via a dating website that no longer exists. I met quite a few men that way, but when I met Hubs things were totally different. He had the whole evening planned out to the very last detail, which totally hooked me in since I have ADD and tend to be a major scatter brain. He had a rule about not contacting a woman until 3 days after the first date, but because we both happened to be online via Instant Messenger we ended up chatting and making plans for that very afternoon! We saw each other every day after that until we were engaged 6 months later. We just "clicked"! We've been happily married now for over 7 years and have beautiful twin daughters.

Amy / December 03, 2009 _ 14:11

My husband and I met three and a half years ago via Yahoo Instant Messenger. I was in the middle of a divorce and he was single, never married, 8 years younger than me. I'm 45, he's 37. We bonded over films. I wrote about it humorously on a blog here, using pseudonyms:

After about 36 hours of non-stop "chatting", I learned he lived less than 2 miles away from me. I took a bottle of wine, went to his house and we've been together ever since. He looked up my profile and made the first "hello". I had been dating people online unsuccessfully and so had he. We really found a lot of common interests, and we married December 18, 2007, and are quite happy. I've always been attracted to highly intelligent men, and although my previous husband fit that bill, he was quite introverted and didn't talk much. Not this one - I have felt ever since I met him that I have been awakened from a deep sleep and have learned so much - he even got me to go back to school after 23 years. We have often commented that we likely would have never found another partner whose favorite TV show was "Frontline" and we watch it every week.

Tina / December 03, 2009 _ 19:39

This has been the most painful year of my life. Living with Dr. Jeckyl and Mrs. Hyde. Loving spouse by day. Cheater by night via text. My children and I are dying a slow death in this household. Cant afford to split just yet because of job loss and health benefits. Try sitting next to your wife in any setting watching her text her lover while smiling in your face. It's opened up whole new vistas in infedelity. Perhaps she and her new love would be good candidates for your series.

john / December 07, 2009 _ 09:29

Just think of Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut.

jerry rubin / December 08, 2009 _ 12:49

I recently saw the movie "Julie and Julia" on a flight and wondered how I could have missed it before. Of course, it has many of the elements you have suggested above, but also has two other significant components: it became a famous story (blog leads to book leads to movie), and Julie's follow-up book is apparently not so squeaky clean and deals with other aspects of what you've detailed above as well.

Steve Hargadon / December 08, 2009 _ 18:26

I shared once already, but thought I'd share the link to my blog where I go into more detail about the events leading up to meeting my husband:

I'd also thought I'd share a story of friendship online. As a stay at home mom I tend to be pretty socially isolated. The only real adult human interaction I get is with my husband, my neighbor, and online. Through a social networking sight I've gotten connected with a bunch of other local stay at home moms. We formed a play group for our kids which has since dissolved, but we've still stayed in contact. About 6 months ago I had the idea of starting a book club with these ladies, and it has turned into an amazing thing! We get together once a month, and we talk about books, but we also SHARE our lives in a very meaningful way! It's become so much more than I ever thought it would be. I now have a group of women who are close friends and becoming closer after each meeting. And at this stage in my life, making new friends seems to be WAY more difficult than finding a mate!

Amy / December 09, 2009 _ 14:50


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