Flirting on Twitter: Flitter = (Flirting + Twitter)

On Friday, February 13th, I had the chance to check out “Flitter” – a Valentine’s event hosted by FastLife.ca, a company that organizes speed dating and singles events. The eventwas held at the swanky Yorkville Bar – Lobby.

Here’s a description of the event from FastLife’s website:

You simply can’t afford to miss the hottest single’s event of the year!Party with over 250 singles aged 21-39 on Saturday 13th February at our Valentine’s fling with a 21st century twist… and embrace the newest flirting phenomenom – Flitter – Flirting with Twitter. The wittiest tweet on the night will win an iPod Touch!

Tickets are only $22 and include:

• A complimentary drink on arrival

• A free double pass to the all-star movie Valentine’s Day, courtesy of Warner Bros.

• Top DJs, and a special Valentine’s Eve lingerie fashion parade• Ice-breaker games, and FastLife’s very own sexy cupids who’ll be on hand to make sure you’re mixing and mingling your way through the crowd!

• The chance to win an iPod Touch, courtesy of Warner Bros. Canada

• The chance to win one of two premium spa vouchers, valued at over $100 each

• Not to mention the chance to meet over 250 stylish singles aged 21-39!If you’re single, this is a party you don’t want to miss.

I received word about this event by a friend of mine who was involved in helping out with their event. She had told me about the event and how it involved Twitter. Naturally, since I’m a Social Media Nerd, I was intrigued from the get go as I tried to wrap my head around how the Founders of FastLife, Justin and Annabelle (and stars of their own TV show on Canada’s Slice Network) envisioned how Twitter and Flirting in real life work at the same time.

When it comes to my dating life, I compartmentalize it, deliberately choosing to keep my online identity and dating life separate. Needless to say, I was curious enough to follow through to allow my dating life and online identity to intersect while attending this event.What was the event like?

Here’s how it went down. I arrived around 8:15 PM and already people were streaming in. According to their “Flitter Tips Guide” (see embedded pics), I was under the assumption that there would be ice-breaker games in order to warm people up for small talk, conversation and flirting with strangers.

That didn’t happen.

As the night wore on, I noticed that there were a good amount of people (50% by my estimation) who were passive and stuck to the bar waiting for other people to open conversation. It definitely was not the best situation for shy people hoping to meet other people, especially on the day before Valentine’s Day.

One of the main features of the event was that there was a Projector screen that was displaying the “Flittering” that was going on where people at the event would openly flirt via Twitter for everyone at the event (and the world) to see. A bit bold and a bit entertaining at the same time to send out flirty tweets in hopes of catching that person’s attention.

Here’s one of my tweets that I sent earlier in the evening:

#19 is really cute. I’m (#29) going to get to know her better #flitterme

Nothing too drastic or impressive by any stretch of the imagination, but that’s my style of interaction – warm, direct and genuine.

Another component of the event were the “Truth or Dare” icebreaker question cards that everyone was given. Those who captured a row of signatures were eligible to win an iPod Touch and a slew of other prizes. Here’s an example of some of the question from risqué to rather tame:“Have you ever slept with your best friend’s partner?”“Find someone and do your best orgasm noise for them!”“Have you ever bought anything at a sex shop? What??”“Find someone and kiss them for a photo!”“Have you ever got drunk on a first date?”“Have you ever given out a fake number?”

I recall a handful of people using them, but I never bothered with these type of Truth or Dare questions as they felt they are more of a crutch than anything else and tend to lean towards really awkward conversations. Unless you’re really skilled in conversation and weaving these sorts of questions as a running gag and making it seem perfectly natural, I felt these Truth or Dare questions were more of a liability than anything else. I thought it was a bit tacky for an event of this caliber in my opinion.

What was the crowd like?

According to their website, FastLife proclaim themselves as “Canada’s most stylish speed dating and singles event service.” They lived up to that proclamation and then some, with their choice in the venue which definitely sets the vibe, tone and feel of the event. From what I gather (and this is a purely subjective opinion) there were plenty of attractive people at this Valentine’s event looking to connect or hook-up. Whether you put yourself up there to meet new people was entirely dependent on yourself. For these singles events, it might be a good idea to go with a friend if you’re not brave enough to go by yourself.

Overall thoughts of the event:

One of the things I noticed was how awkward some of the people who attended the event were. Some stuck to the bar for dear life, clasping their drinks in hopes of mustering up the courage to talk to someone. Some just sat there, passive, and if anyone cared to talk to them, that’s how first contact was made.
While I admit that the “Cupids” were quite sexy in their lingerie, they were nothing more than eye candy. By my observations, the “Cupids” weren’t helping people mix and mingle as described on their website.

This is my major criticism of the event – they let down those people at the beginning who weren’t so socially inclined at the fringes of the event and having them resort to self-made courage or liquid courage (alcohol).  It would have been interesting to see if the cupids took on the role of “wing girls” in taking an active role in chatting people up and connecting people at the event. Instead of just having only female cupids, having some male accomplices/counterparts to be a “wing man” of sorts would have been a sound move. Heck, if Justin or Annabelle Parfitt had done a bit of this despite their having to run the event, now THAT would have been something impressive.

In terms of how it integrated Twitter into the event, it was awkwardly executed. For the record, there were a handful of flirty and witty tweets, but I expected an army of savvy social media enthusiasts and a torrent of tweets. Most of the people I talked to didn’t know what Twitter was or how to use it. I found it to be gimmicky and more of a distraction than anything else where I was quoted in this syndicated Reuters article.

I’m not sure if FastLife will be continuing these “Flitter” events, but if they do, maybe next time, reaching out to “Twitterati” (influencers) in the local scene to spread word of mouth and leverage their brand might be a sound move to attract even more attractive people FastLife is aspiring bring to their events and increasing the overall quality

The Verdict:

While I can’t speak for the general quality of FastLife’s events as they are franchised throughout the world and the experience in one city may differ from another, I was surprised by sheer number of attractive and single people in attendance. Everyone was warm, friendly and open to meeting new people – exactly what a singles events should be like.

The price of the event was very competitive at $22, which included a drink ticket, and admission for two to the movie “Valentine’s Day”.
Despite the awkwardness Twitter-themed event, by the time I left, I saw that drinks and conversation were flowing and people were chatting each other up – all signs of a successful event overall.Some helpful hints for these sorts of events