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Digital Manners and Dating

In a recent interview with CNN’s Karin Caifa, we talked about digital etiquette for Valentine’s Day.

With courtship getting digital, here are some dos and don’ts on posting your date or romantic rendezvous on social media.

Some of the tips include:

  • Do put that smart phone down. It sends a bad message to your date that maybe there’s someone more important than the person sitting across the table from you.
  • Don’t post all of those early date details on Twitter or Facebook.
  • Do share very little about what’s going on with your your new beau in the early stages of the relationship.
  • Don’t lose friends and followers by over sharing your relationship details
  • Do keep in mind who might be on your sweetheart’s list of Facebook friends. Coworkers, a boss, family members, even parents. Those wall posts that you think are sweet could be embarrassing to your Valentine.
  • Don’t post your play-by-play every hour about your romantic rendezvous including arriving at the hotel, seeing the flowers in the room, going to dinner, or sipping champagne.

Remember, in a new relationship, he may still be dating others, you may be dating others, and you’re not ready to become “Facebook Exclusive,” until you’ve had the talk.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and netiquette expert. She’s the author of The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Digital Manners and The Perils of Cyber-Dating.

For more digital dating advice, visit CyberDatingExpert.com, where you can sign up for the Weekly Flirt newsletter, Facebook.com/RulesofNetiquette and Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.

Social Media Guide for New Couples

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Our friends at Mashable decided to post a story called, Social Media Helps Romantic Relationships Thrive.

While it’s debatable whether social media helps or hurts relationships, I was a great honor to be asked to chime in on the story along with Alexandra Samuel, Ph.D. and Rob Cottingham, as well as Dr. Karen Ruskin.

Meeting someone new used to be more exciting. Being able to Google someone and read their Facebook, Linkedin, About.me and Twitter profiles in full, takes all the initial mystery and intrigue out of getting to know someone.

 

This is the new dating mistake many are making, says Julie Spira, online dating and netiquette guru and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating.

 

“When your relationship is new, I say avoid connecting on social media sites at first,” Spira tells Mashable. “Sure he or she may be excited about your relationship and can easily follow you on Twitter, but if you receive a friend request before or after a first date, it’s best not to accept it.”

 

A Facebook request or Twitter follow may seem harmless. However, experts warn being fast friends on social media could result in hurt feelings.

 

“Remember that it’s a new relationship and one may still be playing the field while the other only has eyes for you,” Spira says. “Becoming friends prematurely may result in hurt feelings when you see his photo posted hugging another woman. Even though it may be his cousin, your feelings will be hurt and you might be jumping to conclusions.”

 

How long should love birds wait? It could take a couple weeks or a couple months. It really depends on the individuals in a relationship, experts say.

 

Read the full story on Mashable

Julie Spira is an online dating and cyber-relations expert. She’s the author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating and The Rules of Netiquette. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and like her at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert and Facebook.com/RulesofNetiquette

Dating Advice: To Friend, or Not to Friend Your Date

FBbrokenheartIt was an honor to be called on by my friends at GalTime to chime in on the dos and don’ts for “Dating in a Facebook World.”

One of the questions I hear most often from singles is, “Should I send a Facebook friends request before our first date?” Sure, I know you’re excited about meeting him, but stop daydreaming about changing your relationship status.  You might have taken a digital peek to see how many friends you have in common on Facebook, but once someone accepts or rejects your request, it goes on the same place on the totem pole as having the “talk” to be friends, or “more than friends” with someone. It just becomes uncomfortable and it’s hard to get back on the same digital page.

Suddenly your new beau might be worried that you’ll be spying on his wall. Or even worse, he may project that you’ll turn into a cyber stalker and question him about his female cousin’s arm around him from 6 months ago. The thought of his first date with you suddenly becomes uncomfortable, and he may just cancel with an excuse that it’s his turn to watch the kids, or there’s a work project he has to tend to.

If this sounds familiar, I urge you to take a big digital breath and log off of your Facebook account until your first or even second date is over. Facebook dating can be complicated. Balancing the traditional courtship with information-at-your-fingertips can be tricky. My advice to you, keep the information from that Google search results to yourself and just be the authentic you. You’ll have plenty of time to post things on your Timeline if the relationship goes in the right direction.

Here’s an excerpt on what I shared on GalTime:

No “Friending” on the First Date

It may be terribly tempting to friend request the guy you met at the bar last night—especially if his Facebook page is locked up tight. After all, how else can you spy on those old photos of him and his ex that he hasn’t gotten around to taking down yet?

But Spira says: think before you friend. Chances are, you’re not on the same digital page yet. And a virtual friendship could ruin your chances of a real life relationship. “It’s just too soon and you aren’t in a relationship, nor are you even really dating just yet,” she says. “One of you may be dating several people at a time, while the other may be single-focused. If you become Facebook friends prematurely, your relationship may end quickly as well.”

Or it may never get off the ground at all.

“I’ve known women who have cancelled dates after receiving a Facebook friends request,” she says.

Kiss and Don’t Tell

Want to know every last nauseating detail of your second cousin’s first date? How about your boss’s cutesy pet name for his third wife? Not so much, right? Well, most likely your friends aren’t interested in the nitty gritty of your love life either! So keep it offline.

“Saying I love you on Valentine’s Day is appropriate on your sweetheart’s wall if you’re friends on Facebook,” says Spira. “Saying I love you every day and talking about details of your first kiss on Facebook breaks the rules of netiquette. Your friends and you beau don’t always want you to “Kiss and Tell.’”

That goes for your relationship status as well.

“While your Facebook friends will be happy for your new found love, they really don’t want to watch your status change from ‘Single’ to ‘In a Relationship’ to ‘It’s Complicated’ and back to ‘Single’ again,” says Spira.

What Happens on Facebook…

The date was fun, you had a few drinks, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. But before you post that funny status update or compromising photo—think twice. Remember what goes online stays there… forever.

“You can’t take it back,” Spira says. “Often these updates are indexed by the search engine. Even if you remove a photo or update from your Timeline on Facebook, it may have already been shared by friends and friends-of-friends.”

Click  here for the full article on GalTime with my 12 Dos and Don’ts of Dating in a Facebook World.

Julie Spira is an online dating expert, bestselling author, and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, join our Weekly Flirt newsletter and visit us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert

BlogWorld Memories

Adb5UadCEAAnT4z.jpg large 300x242Every day we create a digital memory book of our experiences when we log onto Facebook, send a tweet, or even snap a photo and email it to our friends and family.

The largest and most exciting addition to my digital scrapbook was the most recent BlogWorld Conference and New Media Expo held in Los Angeles.

It was an honor to be selected as a featured speaker where I spoke about The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Digital Manners.  Following my session, I signed copies of The Perils of Cyber-Dating at the BlogWorld Barnes and Noble Bookstore on site.

For those of you who could not attend the 3-day conference, I encourage you to sign up for the BlogWorldExpo Virtual Ticket, complete with over 100 audio recordings of all of the sessions. You’ll learn an incredible amount about how to connect and relate in a Web 2.0 World from some of the most influential people in social media.

I also had the opportunity to be interviewed by Nancy Spears of GenConnect, Abby Johnson of WebPro News, and Sandi McKenna on Dot TV.

Watch our videos:

Genconnect - How to Find Love in Cyberspace

WebPro News – What is Netiquette?

Julie Spira is an online dating and netiquette expert. She’s the author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating and The Rules of Netiquette. Follow Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira. Like her at Facebook.com/RulesofNetiquette and Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.

To Friend or Not to Friend on Facebook [video]

Should you accept all facebook friends requests?

In our Ask the expert series on Your Tango, I was asked, “Should I accept a friends request from my husband’s friends?” Just what are the rules of netiquette on Facebook?

Watch our video with my tips on how to handle a delicate digital situation.

For more dating and netiquette advice, like us at Facebook.com/rulesofnetiquette and Facebook.com/cyberdatingexpert and follow Julie Spira on Twitter @JulieSpira

If you loved this video, please like us on Facebook too!

Should You Become Facebook Friends With Someone You Just Started Dating?

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To friend, or not to friend? This question comes up all too often from singles I’m coaching when they first start dating someone new.

My advice is always a firm no. Not just yet.

Although you may be enthusiastic about your phone conversations, have sent a few text messages back-and-forth, and enjoy spending 1-3 hours every day on Facebook,  it might seem like the next logical step to add your new date as a friend on Facebook. I call this trend “premature friending” and it might lead to a startling ending of a relationship that never had the full chance to move forward on a normal digital course.

Setting romantic boundaries on Facebook and other social networks can be quite tricky. However, it really doesn’t have to be so complicated after all.

So without further digital adieu, here are some of the most popular questions I’m asked, with answers to help your love life, both online and in real life.

Should you ignore a Facebook friend request before meeting your date?

If you regularly ignore other requests from strangers or friends-of-friends, then do the same with the man or woman you have not yet met. Think about it. Your new date might be secretly cyber stalking you to check on your where-abouts to see if it adds up to the way you described yourself. Sound creepy? Well, it is. So yes, ignore it. They aren’t a friend yet, nor are they your boyfriend or girlfriend.

You had a great first date. Is it safe to send a friend request?

No, not just yet. Unless you discussed a business deal or partnership and want to ease your way in with a Linkedin request, he or she is quite likely still on the market. They won’t want you gazing at their online activity, nor should you be staring at theirs. Avoid posting comments about your date or post the cute photo that you snapped on your iPhone after your first martini. It’s too soon to go spreading the news on the public Internet.

You had sex. Are you ready to be Facebook friends?

Just because you spent time together between the sheets, doesn’t mean it’s time to change your status to “In a Relationship.” Make sure you have the talk first about your relationship. If you’re both on the same digital page, then go ahead and change the relationship status together. If you aren’t in a committed relationship, you’re likely to have your feelings hurt when you see his arm around another girl or her in an uncompromising photo with another guy. If either one of you is sitting on the digital fence, then stay friends offline before becoming friends online.

The relationship never took off. Can we just be friends?

If you know for certainty that there was no chemistry or a chance for romance, and no one feels jilted, go ahead and become friends if you truly like each other and know it will be platonic. If you find yourself staring at his or her wall wondering what they’re up to, then you’re not being honest with yourself. Politely unfriend them until you know you’re over it.

At the end of the digital day, don’t let your feelings be hurt if the other party ignores your friend request. Everyone has their own prerequisites for friending and unfriending each other on the world’s largest social network.

Julie Spira is a leading online dating and netiquette expert.  She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating. Visit her at CyberDatingExpert.com for dating advice. Connect with Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira, Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert and Facebook.com/RulesofNetiquette

Spreading Netiquette and Love in New York

In this week’s Where’s Julie column, I’m happy to say that I’m home curled up by the fire busy confirming Valentine’s appearances for the next two weeks. However, in between snowstorms, I had the opportunity to spend a few days in New York City, where I appeared on NBC News to talk about my new book, The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Manners on the Web. The segment was called Netiquette: Minding Your Virtual Manners. I hope you can take a moment to view the video. Comments are always welcome. Even Pope Benedict embraced netiquette for social networking last week.

The Rules of Netiquette was originally the title of a chapter in my first book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, inspired in part when an ex-fiance ended the engagement via email. Yes, that was a netiquette no-no.

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Jamie Beckman and Julie Spira

While in New York, I had the chance to sip cappuccino with She Knows columnist and author, Jamie Beckman, whose book is featured this month in the Cyber-Dating Expert Reading Room. I also met with the GenConnect group to go over the final details of my Valentine’s live chat scheduled for February 3, 2011 at 3:30pm/Pacific time. The subject will be “For Lovers and Lovers in Waiting.” I’ll be posting details on how you can participate in the live chat on Monday, so get your relationship questions ready.

On Friday, our friends at eHarmony posted my article 5 Reasons She Won’t Call You Back on their site and sent it out to 5 million people on their eHarmony Advice newsletter. The last I looked, there were 76 comments so feel free to chime in. Needless to say, I’ve been busy working on irresistible profiles throughout the weekend for those looking for love online or at least a date before Valentine’s.

Valentine’s is around the corner, and I’ve gone on record as saying, “Valentine’s to a woman is like the Super Bowl to men.” With that in mind, we’ll be posting several articles to help you leading up to Valentine’s Day, regardless of your love stage. For now, take a look at my recent post, Valentine’s Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts for Your Valentine.

Stay tuned for my Valentine’s special offer for Irresistible Profiles for a limited time on February 1st – 6th.  I’ll also be posting some special free offers from some of the online dating sites next week which are worth signing up for which will appear in the Weekly Flirt.

Dating in a Facebook World

facebookheart2This 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.

Like her at facebook.com/rulesofnetiquette and facebook.com/cyberdatingexpert

Follow Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira