By: Candace Lelo
He had me at hello… If only dating was that simple. In the nineties, when one person wanted to get to know another, they asked for a name and number.
Fast forward twenty years. The game has drastically changed. The first thing out of a potential suitor’s mouth is, “What’s your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram name?” In this social media dating era, what are the new rules? In just a few moments the answers to your questions will be revealed. I have the tools you need to survive dating in the Social Media Age.
Rule #1: Until you have gotten to know someone, leave social media out of it. When you initially meet a person, I don’t advise you to add them to your network or share your social media name. People post a ton of personal information online. There are pictures, status updates, and check-ins showing where you’re located. Adding a person gives them unrestricted access to private parts of your life. Do you really want to extend that type of access to a person you just met? I don’t think so…keep it on lock.
Rule #2: Exhibit proper communication. Let’s say you’ve had a few dates and they’ve passed the trial period of having little to no social media access. At this point, the social media door can be unlocked; but keep the following rules in mind. Relationship status must be discussed with your potential partner. Are you committed to each other, dating, or are you just friends? Let it be known where you stand and keep in mind that the probability of your activity being monitored is high. This makes it very important to maintain honest communication levels with potential mates as you navigate through your relationship.
Rule #3: Avoid social media distractions while in each other’s presence. One of the trickiest things about dating in this era is the abundance of distractions. They increase ten-fold! I know it can be hard, but try to focus on the actual person during a date, instead of scrolling through your phone during awkward moments. Trust me, you’ll get past that awkward space and you’re not missing out on anything by not being online during a date. Some people spend so much time on social media that they forget the whole point of real-time socializing; getting to know one another. So outside of capturing that moment, try to be in tune with the person you’re sharing the moment with and put down your phone.
Rule #4: Don’t Broadcast Your Relationship. After, you’ve added the potential person to your social media outlet and you’ve discussed their role in your romantic life, it’s time to discuss etiquette when it comes to posting about the relationship. One lesson that I’ve learned is to leave the relationship status blank. Of course, when a relationship starts, the first thing some people want to do is announce that they’ve found love; but that’s normally not the best move. One of the leading social media websites, Facebook, announces via newsfeed when you enter a relationship, and it also announces when that relationship comes to an end. This is a riotous act on both occasions. People get an array of responses from congratulations to the Five W’s (who, what, where, when, and why). It’s a fast way to get any and everybody in the middle of your love life. I advise against it. I also advise against posting pictures of each other, excess tagging or making your relationship Facebook official in any way shape or form until you are serious.
Rule #5: Refrain from writing subliminal posts. Subliminal posts a surefire way to anger, upset or annoy unintended recipients. They have a way of making their way into newsfeeds and wreaking havoc. When someone you’re dating assumes that a subliminal post or status is about them, the results aren’t pretty. You don’t want to end up in a Facebook or Instagram war against your potential boo. It’s pointless and causes drama…so avoid these types of posts at all costs and if you need to vent, do it offline.
These are the rules as they apply to dating in the Social Media Age. Please take heed and reference these five tips if you feel unsure of what future action to take. Hopefully, this helps someone out there, because as I’m sure you’ve witnessed…dating in the social media era is not for the faint of heart.
SMS Dating: What’s the craziest thing you’ve witnessed due to someone breaking one of the 5 rules? Don’t list names, but do share.
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