Dating in a Facebook World
This week Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was named “Person of the Year” by TIME magazine. It doesn’t come as a surprise to many after his recent appearance on 60 Minutes as well as the success at the box office for The Social Network.
Whether you like or dislike Zuckerberg as the selection this year is not the issue. If you’re single and dating, you need to give Facebook a shot as you cast a wider romance net. If you’re already logging onto Facebook to post your recent photos and you have an online dating profile, there’s no reason not to combine your efforts.
On the day that TIME crowned Zuckerberg, I was asked by YourTango about how Facebook has changed the way we date. There are obvious pluses and minuses for Facebook daters.
Let’s start with the bad news first.
1. When you rely solely on email, texting, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, often your communication is unilateral. The object of your affection might not be checking their updates, so just like you shouldn’t sit by your phone waiting for his call, don’t stare at your personal computer or PDA waiting for a response. He or she just might be busy.
2. Breaking up has become too easy to do online. If you’re ending your relationship, do so in person, pick up the phone and have a conversation, or set up a SKYPE date to hear their voice. Otherwise you run the risk of being misunderstood if you send a text canceling your plans. Maybe you’re not feeling well. Maybe he thinks it’s over. Think before you press the send button.
3. Changing your Facebook relationship status to “Single” without discussing it with your significant other is a netiquette no-no. Nothing is worse than waking up to see comments on your Facebook wall about his latest rendezvous without you while you’re still looking forward to Saturday’s date with him. It really doesn’t have to be that complicated after all.
4. Falling in love on Facebook won’t work if you don’t take your relationship from online to offline. Don’t fall in love with someone from behind his or her keyboard. Its fun to flirt, use Facebook chat, text, and tweet, but you still need to meet.
Now for the good news.
1. People are indeed falling in love on Facebook. They are reconnecting with people from nursery school and summer camp, as well as forming relationships with people they meet in the real world. If your friends aren’t setting you up anymore, log on to Facebook and start chatting with some old friends.
2. Facebook is responsible for creating a fabulous social calendar. Receiving party invitations on Facebook is a great way to expand your social network. You should attend as many events that interest you that you can while you are single.
3. Facebook is the equivalent to the third largest country in the world, behind China and India. You have a large dating pool to pick from. It should go without saying, but make sure that someone is single before approaching them on Facebook. Don’t come on too strong or you might be looked at as a stalker.
4. Tired of old online dating profiles? On Facebook, singles are more likely to post a recent photo of a family reunion or party photos from the holidays. What you see can really mean what you get, and that’s good news for everyone on the world’s largest social network.
Have you started a romance on Facebook? If so, we’d love to hear your comments.
Julie Spira is a dating and relationship expert and the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.
Follow Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira