It’s a love story perfect for the times we live in.
Six years ago, a random glitch in Facebook mobile sent Schuler Benson into a total stranger’s account, and he literally couldn’t leave. The “logout” button had mysteriously vanished.
When Schuler tried to post updates, he saw himself identified as “Celeste Zendler” – someone he didn’t even know. She was in Boulder, Colorado, and he lived in Arkansas. They had never met and didn’t even have friends in common. But every time Schuler logged into Facebook with his phone, the problem was still there. The two of them could even use her account at the same time.
This went on for a week, with the two of them posting “This is Celeste” and “This is NOT Celeste” messages just to keep things straight until they found a solution.
Finally, she tried sending him a friend request, just to see if that would work. And it did. The glitch was fixed and Schuler was at last able to log out and get back to his own account, but then a funny thing happened.
Celeste says she had originally intended to “friend” him just for a couple weeks to make sure the problem was resolved and then delete him. But then, as weeks passed, she found herself putting that action off.
“I never did (delete him) because I enjoyed his status updates,” she said. “He would post such funny stuff that I liked having him in my feed. We commented here and there on each other’s statuses and that is how we got to know one another.”
Over time, their friendship grew. “It literally took years to go from Facebook friends to a romantic relationship,” Celeste explained. That’s because Celeste was in a serious relationship until 2012. But the next year, she and Schuler decided to start dating. And that’s when the sparks started flying.
Then, on June 11, 2014, Schuler logged into Celeste’s Facebook account for a second time – on purpose.
He couldn’t take her to the place where they first met, since it all happened online, so he went back to her page to post his proposal of marriage. When Celeste went there, it was the first thing she saw. “He was waiting for me to check my Facebook and had the ring in hand,” she said.
Of course, she said yes. And then she posted this:
As Schuler said in his proposal post: “In the fall of 2009, Facebook already had over 175 million users. Rounding down, the odds of us connecting were less than 1 in 175,000,000. Statistically speaking, you’re about 300 times more likely to be struck by lightning. You’re more likely to be bitten by a shark…on land. And you’re about as likely to win the Powerball Jackpot…with the exact same numbers as someone else.”
As Celeste said, “We both still have moments where we’re like, ‘Is this real life?? How did we get so lucky!!’”