By Julie Spira
Hooking up and breaking up in a web 2.0 world — What started years ago in chat rooms has shifted to Facebook, now considered the largest online dating site for many. I’ve often said that the Facebook relationship status change is the most powerful one on the social media giant. We’ve become voyeuristic as we watch friends and acquaintances change their status from “Single” to “In a Relationship” to “It’s Complicated” and back to “Single” where we both cheer them on when they find love and feel sad for their public breakup.
So as I intertwine my Rules of Netiquette in matters of the heart, here are my suggestions on how to date in a Facebook world.
1. Falling in love on Facebook, or anywhere in cyberspace will only work if you take your relationship from online to offline. It’s fun to flirt, use Facebook chat, text, and tweet, but you still need to find the time to meet in real life (IRL) or you’ll end up having a Facebook emotional affair with possibly an unavailable person.
2. If your friends aren’t setting you up anymore, don’t think your shelf-life has expired. Log on to Facebook and start chatting with some old friends and be open to the possibilities of reconnecting. From nursery school friends, to camp friends and alumni groups, cast a wide net on Facebook and reconnect.
3. Facebook is responsible for creating a full-filled social calendar. Accept as many as possible. Notice what events your friends are attending and if it’s of interest to you, it’s better than sitting home feeling sorry for yourself.
4. Tired of meeting people who don’t look like their photos on traditional online dating sites? 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.
5. Don’t change your Facebook relationship status to “Single” or “In a Relationship” without discussing it with your significant other. It’s a netiquette no-no. Nothing is worse than waking up to see comments on your Facebook wall about his or her latest rendezvous without you while you’re still looking forward to Saturday’s date. It really doesn’t have to be that complicated after all.
6. Resist the urge to post photos on Facebook of your brand new relationship. One of you might be more serious than the other. He or she might like keeping your personal life more on the private side. Be on the same page, or at least in the same status update when the time is right.
7. Facebook’s population is the equivalent to the third largest country in the world. 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 aggressively with someone you hardly know or you might be viewed as a stalker, subsequently resulting in being de-friended.
8. If it’s over, it’s on with your life.
Have you found love on Facebook? Find out you were dumped in a status relationship update? We’d love to hear your stories.
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/CyberDatingExpert. Follow her on Twitter @JulieSpira