Social Networking and dating go together like peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots, Charlie Sheen and crazy. While traditional dating sites have slowly been growing in popularity since the dawn of the Internet, Facebook and Twitter are exploding so fast it’s become difficult to remember world where “unfriend”, “Tweet” and “poke” weren’t part of the global vocabulary. There have never been more options for finding love online and it seems the only question left to ask is: should I be using my social networking connections to score a date? We say ABSOLUTELY to Twitter and Facebook dating, but here are some hard and fast dos and don’ts…
When Facebook Dating:
DO: Reach out to people you already know. That girl from your office you can’t stop imagining naked? See if any of your existing friends already knows her, then ask for an introduction. Wingmen make you far less creepy (online and in real life.)
DO: Utilize Facebook dating apps to your advantage. The Book has some great in-house apps to make you stand out like giving a digital gift or even tagging someone you’re trying to flirt with in a mass photo. Don’t forget the SmartPhone apps being developed every day to help you Facebook date, though, like the one that alerts you when your Friends’ relationship statuses change? Like they say, the early bird gets the…heartbroken rebound date?
DO: Think of the networking giant as the Facebook Dating Site. Like on any other dating site, you’ll want to make sure your profile puts your best foot forward. This means taking down any references to Miley Cyrus and pictures of your cat(s). And while you’re at it, make sure your status updates are upbeat! No one wants to date the chronically depressed Emo over sharer…
DON’T: Poke people. Just don’t. Poking is possibly the slimiest Facebook feature available and should play no role in your Facebook dating strategy. That is unless your strategy revolves around being un-friended…
DON’T: Be awkward on people’s walls. If you’ve got your eye on someone, don’t plaster their wall with winky faces and cutesy inside jokes. Asking someone out on a Facebook date is certainly more casual than calling, but if you must, send them a private message. If you wouldn’t walk up to your crush’s table at a crowded bar and say it, please, for the love of the Interwebs, don’t say it on her wall.
DON’T: Show up uninvited. There are few things creepier than the guy that comments on your photo ten albums deep or the girl who writes on your wall after scouring your mutual friends to tell you she “totally knows Jason, too!” Facebook dating is an art…be smooth, be confident and for goodness sake, don’t be the online equivalent of Hannibal Lechter.
When Twitter Dating:
DO: RT people you’re crushing on. Unless your object of desire is a doorknob or Kim Kardashian, odds are they’ll eventually say something funny or insightful on Twitter worthy of retweeting, they’ll notice and a relationship will bloom. Word to the wise: if you’ve been following your dream guy or girl for over a month and they’ve yet to Tweet anything that doesn’t make your brain bleed? Time to reconsider your qualifications in a mate.
DO: Tweet @yourcrush. Twitter dating is like being at a big house party except everyone’s most likely in their underwear. Everyone can see who you’re @Tweeting so reaching out this way is like a public display of affection. Make sure you Tweet something nice like “Congrats on the big promotion! @SarahHottie” as opposed to, say, “Sorry I asked out your sister! @JillDater.”
DO: Monitor trending topics for a Twitter date. Hey! That hot-fellow Tweeter, she likes Van Halen and fried pickles too – instant opener! Twitter makes it easy to find people with common interests which is a ultimately a useful Twitter dating app but remember, there’s a fine line between being observant and being a stalker.
DON’T: Use Twitter to give a play-by-play of your dates. Yes, perhaps it was cute and endearing when you Tweeted how excited you were he asked you out but the ninth Tweet from the restaurant letting us know he was in the bathroom and things were going swimmingly? Less Tweety Tweety, more datey datey.
DON’T: Tweet about how awful your last romantic liaison was. Why on earth would anyone risk asking you out when you spend a third of your Tweets bashing your ex? Taking the high road, online and in real life, is the mature way to go (and no, Tweeting about your ex’s comic book collection and affinity for action figures is not the high road.)
DON’T: Be boring! Twitter is a hotbed for both mindlessly inane and thoughtfully brilliant 160-character comments…make sure your Tweets fit into that latter category. If you’ve got nothing to Tweet but your distance on the treadmill or your cereal of choice this morning, leave the Tweeting to the professionals. A little mystery is never a bad thing.
Gone are the days when social networking was just for college students. Facebook dating and Twitter hookups are here to stay, so make sure you follow these simple rules to get a piece of the online dating pie. If eHarmony and Match.com just aren’t your style, maybe it’s time to see what kind of fish you’ll find in the world’s newest online dating pools.