No matter how organized one may be, life always manages to throw a wrench in your plans. It’s as if it’s designed to control your every move, and has a permanent compass that only it can see. And few things are less predictable than love.
Take Cherrell Brown, for example. The North Carolina-bred Black Lives Matter activist never thought that she’d be a matchmaker. But once a month, that’s exactly what she becomes.
“I’ve always loved love, as cheesy as that sounds,” she says. “There’s just something really healing about that, especially at the time when Twinder started for me.”
Enter Twinder. Think, Twitter and Tinder combined. Brown’s appointment to the throne of “love guru” wasn’t one that she sought out. A little less than a year ago, Brown created the online dating practice to relieve stress.
“I’m an organizer that does a lot of work around police brutality,” she explains, “and around the time I started Twinder, I was just kind of feeling heavy. We were like in the middle of several different cases and campaigns, and I wanted to just lighten up my timeline. I just wanted to celebrate love, and remind people that there’s something else out there other than anguish and pain, because of the current state of things. So that’s kind of how it started. Not from any kind of expressed interest in matchmaking, but just as a relief from the work I was already doing.”
What started as a need for release has turned into a full-fledged dating game, a fact Brown describes as surprising. “I didn’t think it would go past the first time I did it,” Brown recalls. “I just thought it would be a cute little one-off thing to do. But the response was surprising and quite big.”
If you haven’t guessed by now, Twinder uses Twitter to hook people up. To play the game, those with Twitter accounts can add a photo, a short bio, their general location (if they’re comfortable), and what they’re looking for. Users then browse through the tweets under the #Twinder hashtag and hopefully make a connection.
“I think that what’s really cute and different about it is that sometimes it could be somebody you’re already following, but you don’t know if they’re interested or available. And you see them playing and you’re like, ‘Okay, maybe I can slide in the DMs now,’ ” Brown says with a laugh. “Or if you’re hesitant and they’re playing, you can go look at their tweets and see what they’re about. You may see their politics and what they’re into before taking it any further.”
When asked about the success rate of Twinder, Brown says folks are digging this clever way to meet people.
“You know, I’ve had a few [folks] tweet me and say, ‘Hey! Me and my boyfriend met through Twinder.’ Maybe four or five people told me they had relationships or good dates. My hope is to one day get invited to a wedding that happened because of Twinder.”
Shantell E. Jamison is an editor for EBONY.com and JETmag.com. Not confined to chasing headlines, this Chicago-based writer, radio personality and cultural critic is also the author of Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self.