Sunday, March 1, 2015

From Facebook, With Love

Every year, during the month of February, Cupid sharpens his arrow and pixie dust gets thrown about. Love is in the air. Valentine compels couples and would-be-couples to loosen their purse-strings and immerse themselves in the pool of luxury. Chinese New Year sets up difficult conversations for unmarried singles everywhere with their inquisitive family and relatives concerned on their luck (or rather, ill-luck) in love. Pressure is high. If you're not already deep in love, you ought to be.

This year, Facebook - omniscient as ever on my private affairs - decides to help me out. Not a day passed where my Facebook newsfeed was not flooded with stuff like this...

Day 1

Oh, wow! So many beauties in one photo! Nice branding: "Paktor" means "Dating" in Cantonese. Nice features: location-based, very Tinder-like, a guarantee I'm hooking up with someone close and not, say, across the South China Sea. Except that I'm not into online dating. 40 million matches - but how many of these matches led to successful dates, relationships or even marriages? Anyway, I've no time to muck around chatting with random strangers online. I have a life.

Day 2

Just one chick now. Great pitch, though. The chick's like all "It's Chinese New Year, I'm dressed in red, don't you fancy taking take me home?" Nope, not interested. I'm good, I'll pass. Find another lonely sucker.

Day 3

Woah! Cupid has a Malaysian branch now? Everyone seems to be going hyperlocal, these days - aim for a certain demographic market, and dominate. Great marketing strategy, see? Facebook ads probably allows Cupid to design each arrow specifically for a specific group (e.g. male, 20-35 years old, single, regularly posts emo stuff on his Timeline, etc.). Nice shot, Cupid. Miss again, though.

Day 4

Again, a change of chick. And a change of tactic, perhaps? Maybe Cupid's starting to figure that I'm into older and more matured women. Cupid must have some sophisticated algorithm, and a crew of digital marketers and software engineers to boot. Arrows not enough, see? Gotta upgrade to a homing missile with a GPS tracker. Good effort, but still a miss.

Day 5

Wow! Reinforcements have arrived all across the South China Sea! Cupid really means serious business now. Spreading the yellow fever, spreading the international love. The cheongsam makes an appearance, yet again. Taking another calculated shot at the common male weakness for demure, submissive and traditional women. Too bad, your Jedi mind tricks have no effect on me! Move along, I'm not the sorry sucker you're looking for.

Day 6

Hmm. The coy "catch-me-if-you-can" look. The hair in mouth is a neat artistic touch. Since I didn't seem to buy into the wholesome "girl-next-door" type, Cupid's now thinking I'm into bad girls. Cupid just never gives up, huh? Well, I'm not fooled by the different domain names. If I change my hometown to Singapore, I'll probably be served with a platter of Singaporean beauties next. But sorry, it still won't work on me.

Day 7

Back to Malaysia? But wait, it's a tropical tanned chick! Cupid's a real cunning bugger. A bottomless bag of tricks, he has. Trying to tempt me with exotic pleasures now. Hah, fat chance! I shall not yield. I shall stay strong. Be gone, foul Cupid!

Day 8

Well, well, well! What do we have now? A hybrid Oriental tropical queen! Large eyes, porcelain skin, thick eyebrows, straight hair, full lips. A cross between Aishwarya Rai and Zhang Ziyi. The best of both worlds. The perfect woman. But you know what? Not impressed at all. I'm the man who can't be moved. Hell yeah.

Day 9

WHAT? Has it come to this? Single men? MEN?!?

Nah, just kidding! This one didn't appear on my newsfeed, but that of a girl friend residing in Australia. Quite a hottie, I must say. Bottom half's rugged and gritty, upper half's clean and goody. A man for all seasons. I would so chat him up at the bar. Maybe buy him a drink. Put on my best accent. G'day, mate! Let's talk about life, boomerangs and kangaroos...

Okay, better stop now.

Dating Help? No Thanks!

Thanks for the wonderful spread of choices, Cupid. But seriously, don't waste any arrows on me. Facebook love? That's a long shot.

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