When I started dating, the biggest worry I had was whether my best friend was going to like the guy and when to tell my parents I had a boyfriend. These days with social media, dating seems to have gotten a lot easier in one aspect and a lot more complicated in another.
There are an abundance of online dating sites — some even narrow down to a very specific niche, there are easy ways to re-connect with lost loves thanks to nearly everyone being on Facebook, and you can meet new and interesting people on Twitter and maybe fall in love — celebrities do it, why can’t you?
While this new technology and social networks have no doubt done some great things for dating and love, there are a lot of ways dating has gotten more difficult due to everything being on the Internet. If you’re finding some confusion on the proper ways to date with social media, here are 5 important social media do’s and don’ts of dating:
1. Do: Check out your date on social media
It’s okay to check out your date a little bit on social media to see if they’re completely offensive or not who you thought they would be. If you have a problem with someone over-sharing and you see their last handful of tweets had the hashtag #TextsThatLeadToSex, you may realize the two of you won’t get along.
Don’t: Become an amateur private investigator
There’s no reason to start going on a rampage and reading up on your date everywhere. Yes, a quick Google search or social media peek is okay, but if you’re talking to your date about his sister’s boyfriend’s latest happenings before he even told you he had a sister, you’ve gone too far.
2. Do: Disconnect from technology for the night
There are easy ways to put your phone notifications on silent or even just turn the vibration and ringer off and focus on getting to know this new person. Check out this piece on how to put your iPhone on silent-mode on About.com.
Don’t: Text during dinner
There is such a thing as being too attached to technology and social media, and it’s not respectful when you’re on a date to be stuck to your phone, texting during dinner. If your date is not interesting enough to hold a conversation with without your smartphone in hand, you’ll want to end the date. Need tips on what topics you should avoid on your first date, read: 10 Things Not to Talk About on Your First Date
3. Do: Accept that texting seems to be the most preferred way of communication
Gone are the days of waiting for your date to call you and expecting not to hear from them for at least that two-day buffer. Now, texting seems to be the preferred method of communication, and since it’s less formal and more relaxed, getting in contact with your date is easier than ever.
Don’t: Ghost — you still need to be respectful and act like a grown-up
Ghosting – the idea that you can just disappear from someone you’re dating, whether it was a one-time thing or a longer relationship. People are changing their text numbers by using phone texting apps which allow number changes easily, and then they’re not forwarding their new number to their date so they can avoid having that breakup talk. Social media doesn’t mean you can give up being respectful or acting like a grownup. For more on ghosting, check out: And Then I Never Heard From Him Again: The Awful Rise of Ghosting on The Date Report.
4. Do: Have a discussion about privacy
Not every person is comfortable sharing everything about their lives on social media and the Internet, thus personal privacy needs to be respected. Before you post photos, names, or other identifying information about your date online, make sure you’ve had the talk and know what they’re comfortable with it beforehand.
Don’t: Take your date’s photo and tag them in everything
When social media sites like Facebook started allowing anyone to tag anyone in a photo, I wasn’t impressed. What about that bad picture my brother has of me where I’m stuffing my face with chips or the bad angle someone caught of me at a party? Don’t be that person to your date and start taking their photo and tagging them without their permission! Worried about who can see your photos? Check out How Do I Control Who Sees Photos I’m Tagged in from Facebook.
5. Do: Delete your online dating profile if you’re committed
If you and your date have had the discussion of exclusivity, make sure you disable your profiles you’ve got up on those dating sites.
Don’t: Accept messages “just in case”
It’s rude if your partner thinks you’re in a committed relationship and you’re still out there “just in case.” It sends mixed-messages, and it’s not the best way to start a new relationship.
What are your personal rules for dating in the social media world?
Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net
Devan is a freelance writer living in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and four kids. No, those aren’t her kids’ real names – they’re online pseudonyms. Read more from Devan on Babble as she dishes about babies, pets, and love + keep up with byDevan on Facebook and Twitter!