Twitterpated: How Christians Find Love on a Divisive Site

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It’s hard to meet people at church these days. Can social media help fill the gap?

“Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert? What’s your Enneagram and/or Myers Briggs?” Rachel Welcher tweeted on June 24, 2020, with the hashtag #ChristianSinglesMixer. She received dozens of replies. This question was one of many in a series that Rachel and her husband, Evan, threw out on their second Twitter mixer.

“Our notifications were out of control,” Rachel said of their first digital event. “We did it for one night, but it lasted a week.”

In a year when social media has increasingly become a place of political grandstanding and polemical echo chambers, Evan and Rachel Welcher bring levity, light, and happiness to the space by trying to set up their Christian followers. They’re passionate about this specific use of social media because they too started their relationship online.

“We met each other on Twitter, through reading each other’s writing—notably about grief,” Evan said.

As the world increasingly gravitates online, pushed there in part by a pandemic that makes it hard to meet others in person, finding a prospective partner on an app or a social media site is increasingly common among evangelicals.

Traditional online dating is often geographically constrained, but social media offers Christians the chance to meet long distance when their options are limited in a small town—like Evan and Rachel did—or when compatible companions are hard to find in a big city. Like dating apps, social media’s algorithms can help you find likeminded community. But whereas dating apps make it easy for a person to paint a false image, social media can give a somewhat more realistic picture. On Twitter, for example, it’s easier to spot how a potential …

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