As a young professional living in NYC, I was used to striking out on dates. My relationship resume consisted of effeminate men who made me feel like the guy (ugh, no), those addicted to partying and overindulging, commitment-phobes, the jealous-types and the list goes on. Many of us are dealt a similar hand and we can meet new people through a select few ways. Meeting through a friend, stumbling across that attractive stranger on the subway, diving into the dangerous waters of dating someone at work OR maybe even through a Meetup group.
I had been living in Brooklyn for 2 ½ years with no luck. I kept fishing and all I caught with were old boots. Maybe online dating was the answer? I signed up for eHarmony in mid-October, hoping to put myself out into the “interwebs” and on a hope and a prayer, find the proverbial “Mr. Right.” Credit card entered. Prayers recited. I certainly got a handful of dates, however, what happened next changed the possible modes of finding your Mr. or Ms. Right. I came home from a yoga class and decided to check my nightly Instagram feed. I wanted to find a pharmacy meme, something funny to post about my profession. Typing in #pharmacy to the search bar, I came upon hundreds of memes depicting the satire of community pharmacy. I saw a man with a frozen yogurt bar in his mouth and clicked on his picture.
He was a young pharmacist like me and his sense of humor was oddly familiar to mine. I tagged one of my friends on this mystery pharmacist’s picture and said, “Follow him! He is hilarious!” A minute later I got a text from my friend. “Who is this sexy pharmacist?! He looks single! Talk to him.” Well, that was how it all started! I met my fiancé on Instagram. In a million years I would never guess that I would get paired up with someone living 400 miles away in Pittsburgh! We Skyped for 4 hours the first time we spoke and we met in person a month later. I moved here last July. Yes, there was a lot that happened in between, too!
Technology is a huge part of our lives. Texting, tweeting, emailing, “Facebook-ing” and meeting people online is a big part of our culture. People text instead of call, they email instead of text. Of course, there are pros and cons to this new age of technology. I believe that social media has the ability to connect people from all places and stages in life. Anyone can access social media and therefore we are casting a wider net when we post anything. We are also able to capture specific groups of people like I did in the examples of finding my fiancé on Instagram. I typed in “#pharmacy” and was able to narrow down my search into a precise niche. Now, I didn’t expect to find my future husband there, but hey, it worked out!
Being able to target certain groups of people can also help an entrepreneur reach their target clientele. From a business perspective, social media has helped our business tremendously. My fiancé and I have our own pharmacy + nutrition consulting business and we have received many leads and clients from Instagram and Facebook. The ability to send a “DM” or talk on “Facebook Messenger” allows some sense of privacy behind the scenes of a newsfeed. People can look at your Instagram feed and get to know what your interests are and get a feel for your personality. For example, if you are posting pictures of going to Soul Cycle, ideas for healthy food swaps and using the hashtags #healthcoach someone can easily find you and hire you. If they like what you are posting, they can connect with you easily. If you’re into fishing, you would take pictures of casting or of you in a boat with the hashtag “#fishingfordays.” You get the picture!
Some people may argue that technology has separated us. Just go out to dinner and watch people on their phones. Going out to dinner used to mean conversing and bonding…and eating of course! Yes, that is our reality. In some ways, technology does cause isolation. Some people may actually have more Instagram friends than they do in-person friends. However, in my opinion, social media is the perfect medium to bridge our social connections to in-person connections. Whether it is a date, a new friend or a potential business partnership, there is no doubt that social media has its perks.
So what is my advice? I keep going back to fishing innuendos so let’s keep with that theme. Put your net out there and be willing to catch something magnificent. It may not be a large-mouth bass. It may be a guppy. Don’t give up! Keep putting yourself out there and be open to positive things happening! After all, I met my fiancé on Instagram.
Dr. Christina Tarantola
Dr. Christina Tarantola, PharmD, CHC is a licensed pharmacist, nutrition consultant and Co-owner of The Diet Doc Pittsburgh North along with her fiancé Dr. Adam Martin. The Diet Doc is a nutrition consulting company geared to empower people to take charge of their health! Christina is also a passionate author of two paperback books, Revealing Your Inner Radiance: Healing through the Heart and Reclaim Your Power: A Roadmap to Re-energizing Your Life. For the last 5 years, Christina has been providing educational health talks in the Pittsburgh area, sharing her expertise on the monthly podcast segment on The Pharmacy Podcast, and creating relevant, informative health articles, YouTube videos and newsletters to empower her clients to live healthy lives!