Dating on Social Media
The violence of the Western world has sent a good deal of human relationships to the virtual, which becomes a buffer zone where another life is created by offering another alternative. It happens that those who have failed in the real world, catch up in the virtual world of social networks, where a like, a well-placed comment, can be the beginning of an idyll. Many sociologists now admit that the Internet is the catch-up exam in human relations, however there is a manual that must be used to help the virtual experience, to turn out real as a dream that is realized. Whether it’s Facebook, Amazon.com or YouTube, Goodreads or Google+, Pinterest or the comments section of your favorite website, any place where people hang out online can be — and probably already has been used to find romance. It is commonplace to do a bit of background research to check that someone is who they say they are and it is so much easier now with the use of the internet. All you need to do is type their full name into Google, maybe with a few other details like their hometown or place of birth – and that clever search engine will reveal every mention they have ever had online whether it is a review they have written for Amazon or a blog they used to have 5 years ago.
Just as you can Google a potential match remember that they can Google you too, so it is a good idea to do this yourself and find out what information is stored about you online. You may find lots of things that you were completely unaware of and some that you wouldn’t want a match to see because they don’t represent who you are today. Do some tidying up and contact sites to remove information you are no longer happy about. Remember the search results may be the first impression a match gets of you so take responsibility for ensuring it is an impression you are happy for them to have. In many ways inviting people to be part of your online community is a bit like inviting them to your home. A typical Facebook page will have photos of your loved ones; information about your interests and activities; personal views and opinions and maybe even your phone number or address if they are stored on there – do you really want strangers to have access to all this information? Including some personal details in your profile offers an instant icebreaker, so don’t leave it blank. And don’t shy away from mentioning that you’re single. According to online dating coach Julie Spira, “Nothing is more powerful than the Facebook relationship status.” People, friends, followers and fellow users are your wingmen and dating pool. Expand your social circle via social media sites. Whereas stalking people you’ve never met is frowned upon on Facebook, buddying up to strangers won’t get you any weird looks on the likes of Twitter, Instagram or even Yelp. And those strangers can set you up. The same holds true for other social sites. Whatever website you’re on, people notice (and love it) when others take a shine to what they’re sharing. Use your interest in what they’re saying as an “in.”Once you’ve made initial contact and things get even slightly more personal, move the conversation to a private place.On Facebook, it might mean messaging instead of public wall posts. On Instagram, chatting on a private messaging app like Kik instead of commenting on photos. There’s also good old email, Gmail chat, Skype and AOL Instant Messenger.And move it offline — fast, you’ll never be satisfied by flirting solely through a screen.“The most important part of online dating, whether it’s traditional online dating or not, is getting offline,” said Laurie Davis, a dating coach and founder of eFlirt Expert.Here’s Davis’ step-by-step guide to moving from Facebook to face-to-face: First, start messaging privately by sending a link to something that touches on a topic you and your love interest discussed before. Then, if the person bites, you can “get a little bit more flirty and more personal,” Davis advises. Step three: If it seems like there’s a connection, ask them out.Of course, while everyone on a dating site is (presumably) single, there’s no guarantee the person you’re messaging with on Facebook or Yelp is even available. That’s a risk to be wary of. Before you meet, do some sleuthing . Finally, a reason to embrace oversharing: Use all that information people put on social sites to your advantage. In the hopes of avoiding a meet up with a married weasel (or worse), social daters will often “friend” a person on Facebook, then do some snooping on their friends, interests and activities.Successful social daters also recommend reviewing what someone has shared on the social network to be sure his or her story isn’t riddled with inconsistencies. The public nature of most social sites ensures that you can check up on other people someone has been flirting with and what sort of tales they’ve been telling. Changing your relationship status from ‘single’ to ‘in a relationship’ should only be done when you are certain that the other person is in complete agreement. After that it is better to keep the ins and outs of what happens between you private and to be shared with friends on a one-to-one basis.And no matter what site you’re using, don’t trust the photos.