Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How To: Post a Craigslist Personal Ad

I know what you're thinking: Shannon *Middle Name* *Last Name*, why on earth would you post a personal ad on craigslist? Don't you get enough of talking to strangers from the internet via various experimental, free "dating" websites and alternate versions of chat roulette? The answer to that two-part question is this: I guess I apparently do not get enough of talking to strangers from said sources. The options around the area have dwindled. That, and my friend tried an experimental ad herself and I was jealous of the pen pal-worthy results she got. I am always up for experimentation (not dirty, mind you), so it was a fun thing to try out.

Of course my ad was posted in the Strictly Platonic section, making note that I just want a pen pal to e-mail back and forth, with maaaaaybe the possibility of meeting to hang out. It's not something I haven't tried before, and I'm still alive, so it's not necessarily a bad thing. The website requires that you specify if you're looking for men or women, since that detail is part of the subject line that people see when browsing through ads. I submitted w4m (women for men), but wrote in the description that I would take a female pen pal as well. No creepers. And if I received any responses from people I thought even the slightest bit creepy and shouldn't be corresponding with a 19 year old girl, I didn't reply.

In the ad I pretty much gave a short About Me synopsis like you would on facebook, talking about my hobbies and why I posted the ad (mostly boredom, as is the root of all my suspicious online activities), with a mention of my religious background and moral foundation so people would know I don't mess around with bad seeds, for lack of a better description. To ward off spam robots, I specified that readers should include the work "pickles" somewhere in their e-mail subject line so I would know they were the real deal. My inbox is now full of the word. As for the title of my ad, I strove for something eye-catching -  "I dare you to read and respond!" so that I could attract as many replies as I could. It's been about a week now and I'm still getting a slow but steady stream/trickle of responses, with the last from today marking the 7th reply.

I think I replied to most of the guys who e-mailed me, at least once, unless I just wasn't interested at all. Yeah, I'm a judger. Some have sent pictures because that's the norm these days; it would've been fine if they didn't. However, it does sometimes help to weed out the weirdies. Currently, I am enjoying two continuing conversations via e-mail with safe-looking guys who haven't hinted at anything at all that would make me uncomfortable. They just appear to be bored young adults like myself - one even had a goal of getting a pen pal by the end of this year. I could be too trusting, but I don't think that's a totally unreasonable aspiration for a guy to have. To be safe, I don't give out any personal information, as usual, and even though they now know my first and last name because of my e-mail address, recent internet searches have produced zero results on the actual me, so if you were trying to stalk me you'd really have to do some hardcore research. Like undercover FBI type stuff. So don't even think about it. I'm not the worth the time anyway.

So what do I get out of all this? A fun experience, trying something new. I've always been fascinated with the idea of a pen pal, and I had one for a while who was a teenage girl that easily would've been one of my good friends if we had known each other. She was from one of the Carolinas, I can't remember which, so our lives were completely separate and we could tell each other anything. It's always exciting to check your e-mail and have a new message in your inbox waiting for you from your correspondent. With pen pals originating from craigslist, it's the same thing but I can actually talk to people about things we have in common geologically, such as a favorite restaurant, or other things to do around the area. Plus there's always that slight chance I would go for a blind coffee date and who knows, maybe meet the guy of my dreams. I wonder if anybody's ever found their spouse on craigslist... Now THAT would be a story. While I'm sure it's possible, for now I'm definitely satisfied with just the computer-based communication that supplements my true social life that I'm nurturing, and occasionally fills in the gaps when I'm lonely and have nobody else to talk to.

37 comments:

Lyssa Rose said...

Oh, Shannon. Please be careful. Creepers have ways, you know...

Danielle said...

I feel like the craigslist creepers aren't that motivated to be stalkers though. That's a whole other section of the internet. Of course be careful but lots of craigslisters are just sad.

Shannon said...

Haha yeah Danielle, you have a point.

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