Carrie was excited to join the exclusive online dating site Soulmates.com. She was sure these sophisticated dating algorithms were set to help her find her one true love. The possibilities for love seemed endless. Soon enough Carrie meets Harry (Their names even rhyme, that’s a sign!) He is tall, dark and handsome. Before they know it their involved in a whirlwind romance. BUT soon they start to receive pushy political ads and persuasive innuendo for the major upcoming Presidential election. Wait what exactly is going on here? Looking for love has political implications? What’s the connection here?

Story Concept

Carrie is single and fabulous but tired of her bad luck in the love department. She is successful, intelligent, fun loving and has an exciting life, except that one piece is missing. The perfect guy, where is Mr. Right?! Pushing forty Carrie takes action and despite warnings from her bestfriend and Mother she decides to become a member of the exclusive and elite online dating site Soulmates.com She pays a monthly membership fee to ensure she gets to pick from the crème de la crème of single men in the NYC/NJ area. She is required to fill out a very detailed and specific profile about herself and include a profile photo. There is also a section that she must include information on her closest friends and family, this is a requirement for membership. She found this to be peculiar but was so eager to begin swiping she quickly filled it in and hit submit! Within days Carrie matches with Harry, a successful hedge fund manager who also happens to be tall, dark and handsome. Oh and a total gentleman with impeccable manners. Has Carrie finally met her match?! Their whirlwind romance takes off quick. The chemistry is intense and undeniable. Carrie is sure to fill in her bestfriend Dea and her Mom Silvia with all the juicy details about her new potential soulmate over drinks during girls nights in downtown NYC. They are excited but worried. After finding out some of their personal information was required on this dating site they were skeptical and concerned. Also the monthly membership fee seemed too expensive. Why such a high price to find love?

The surveillance technology that comes into play and the dark twist is, that once Carrie subscribed and paid for membership to this exclusive dating site she was locked in to all the terms of usage and her location was being tracked. She soon realizes that after she logs onto her separate and personal social media accounts which include: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat she starts to get inundated with political ads and persuasive content about who she should vote for in the upcoming Presidential election. At first she believed this to be random, but soon enough every single day after logging off the dating site and onto her personal social media she was again bombarded with political innuendo and propaganda. She contacted Harry and he told her he has been receiving the same exact type of ads trying to influence his vote. He was just as perplexed as Carrie. Meanwhile Dea and Silvia have been also receiving the same political propaganda on their personal accounts! They reached out to Carrie and expressed their concerns. Was this due to the Soulmates.com website collecting their data and using it for gains? Were they being tracked!? What does this mean for the future of their inter personal relationships? What implications if any will this have on the Presidential election, which will be highly contentious and more important than ever this year? Also what does it mean for our political future and climate? A huge Presidential election with major implications for our nation is looming, but what does that have to do with Carrie and her love life? Maybe she signed up for more than what she bargained for.

The protagonist is Carrie a very successful real estate developer with a passion for writing. On the side she contributes to different dating columns and various websites about sex, love and relationships. She works in NYC but lives in a luxurious new condo in Jersey City overlooking the Hudson River and NYC skyline. She’s a Jersey girl at heart so she prefers to live here over the hustle and bustle of NYC. She’s petite with dark brown hair and hazel eyes, add in the curvy figure and she’s hard to miss. A total sweetheart but sometimes she is too trusting and gullible. She has everything she has ever wanted in life, except for that elusive soulmate. My second important character is Harry. He is the male character and online love interest of Carrie. He is a sexy successful hedge fund manager who lives and works in NYC. Tall, dark and handsome. He is a true gentleman with impeccable manners and etiquette. He has sweet and trusting eyes. The next character is Silvia who is Carrie’s Mother. She is extremely close to Carrie being that she’s her only daughter. They talk daily and see each other every weekend. Mama Silvia knows all of her daughters secrets and loves to push her boundaries and find out more. She is Carrie’s harshest critic but biggest fan. She’s a petite woman in her late 60’s with a fabulous Italian accent and fiery personality to match. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for her only daughter. Her Mother is extremely anxious to have Carrie settle down and meet Mr. Right. Silvia isn’t getting any younger and would love to be a grandmother, so she desperately wants her only daughter to find true love, have a baby and live happily ever after. But she feels there shouldn’t be such a high price to find love, and thinks Carrie is paying too much for her dating membership. My third and final character is Dea. She is Carrie’s best friend and confidant. They met in college and became fast friends. They have been inseparable ever since. Dea is a successful lawyer who practices in both NJ and NYC. Dea is fun loving and vivacious also petite and curvy with gorgeous skin and dark black hair. Heads turn when this dynamic duo go out. She is always the voice of reason for Carrie who tends to be too trusting. Dea knows she can be naïve and warns her to be careful especially with her online dating escapades. Location tracking, data collection, and lets not forget major creeps with Ted Bundy vibes just to name a few of the online dating dangers that are out there.  Dea has warned Carrie numerous times to practice extreme caution in her pursuit of love! Little did Carrie know how much Dea’s words would come back to haunt her.

 

Setting / Scenes

As far as my setting goes it will primarily be between NYC and Jersey City. Most of the online dating action will be done from Carrie’s chic condo via her personal laptop. Her condo is modern and feminine, light pale pinks and greys color schemes throughout. The walls adorned with black and white photos of Coco Chanel, Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn. All of which she idolized. Sexy Swarovski chandeliers hung in almost every room, dim sexy lighting is a must. Candles would be lit every evening which gave the chic apartment a warm glow. Real never fake flowers, pink roses do the trick. Picked from the farmers market weekly can be found throughout the condo which helps enrich the feminine and sexy ambiance. Most of the action will be in NYC, downtown and uptown Manhattan will set the scene for much needed girls nights out which includes having drinks, laughing and commiserating over their awful dating luck while dancing the night away. This will also be the location of were Carrie and Harry meet and fall in love. It soon will turn into the scene of where things start to take a dark turn when all the characters involved realize they are now being bombarded by political ads and propaganda daily on their own personal social media accounts. The real climax and cliffhanger scene will be from Carries apartment with all the girls anxiously gathered around her laptop.

Plot Turns

The Plot twist is the fact that Carrie innocently and eagerly wanted to meet her soul mate. Joining this elite and exclusive Soulmates.com seemed like a no brainer, no matter the cost she was willing to pay. That is until she meets Harry a wonderful and seemingly perfect match for her. But soon enough they start to notice an unsettling trend. Their personal social media feeds are now full of political ads and radical, pushy emails about who they should vote for in the upcoming Presidential election. Both of them have their own views on politics but never really discussed it before this media surge started to infiltrate their personal social media accounts. Dea and Silvia are also seeing this disturbing trend play out in their own social media accounts. They also have their own strong political convictions but it was never something they discussed very often. Soon enough the influx and overload of the political advertising was overwhelming and consuming all four of them. They slowly but surely started to get influenced by these ads. Who would they vote for? Or would they even vote at all? Carrie was so confused? How and why was this happening? It put a strain on her and Harry’s budding relationship and Dea and Silvia were angry. Dea lashed out at Carrie and told her that she should have been more aware of the dangers of online dating algorithms and their data tracking mechanisms. But Carrie was at a loss! She never thought that signing up and paying for a elite online dating site would have such dire consequences. Now looking for her one true love seemed petty and trivial. She was now trying to wrap her head around the fact that she was possibly being tracked, and pushed to vote for our next President by some invisible algorithmic tracking monster…

 

Teaser

The teaser/cliffhanger is that Carrie, Dea and Silvia make amends and come together to try and see if there is a link between the online dating site algorithms and this new influx of political advertising that seems to be directly targeted at them and their private social media accounts. Dea has many connections being that she is a successful lawyer and uses all her resources to help Carrie figure out what exactly is going on. Carrie at this point is emotionally and mentally drained. To make matters worse she hasn’t heard from Harry in weeks. She receives one cryptic text that reads: “Carrie, I’m so sorry. I just can’t.” -Harry. She is completely crushed. Meanwhile Silvia is also hard at work trying to figure out what is going on and how she can help her daughter fix this mess. She tells both Dea and Carrie that she suspects Harry has something to do with it. Can it even be possible, no way? Harry could possibly work for the site developing algorithms? Carrie thought that was ridiculous and way too scandalous to be true. “This isn’t a damn Lifetime movie!” she exclaims in frustration! Dea wasn’t so sure so she did a extensive background check on Harry. Weeks later the results were in. Carrie, Dea and Silvia anxiously hovered over Carrie’s laptop in the same plush apartment, on the same fancy couch where this all began. Pinot in hand Carrie clicks on the document, it opens slowly, it feels like a lifetime. The room grows quiet and seemingly darker, the bright laptop screen shines so bright the girls had to blink and squint to see more clearly. The bright screen blinked a few times then adjusted itself, perfect stillness. The results appeared on screen. Harry’s picture perfect face, his dating profile picture pops up on screen. Carrie immediately recognizes the picture from the site! She takes a deep sigh. He is as handsome and unassuming as ever, his smiling face staring back at them. The girls leaned in almost bumping heads to read the fine print underneath his picture…GASP! The room grows even darker.