Proper Facebook Etiquette

#301 Target

Monday 26th November, 2007

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Is it ok to use Facebook to target people for dates?

First and foremost Facebook is a ‘social’ networking tool, and I suppose that part of being ‘social’ is also to date. But a word of caution to the socially naïve amongst you this is not an a liscence to stalk, intimidate nor surveil someone who is your cup of tea. Remember Bond had more class than that and so do you.

I think that it’s the word ‘target’ that jars and is so loaded. People are individuals, not a target for lust-worthy objectification. Brad Pitt and Angelina on the other hand make your career from being a publicly desirable article.

There are several layers to fancying protocol on Facebook all of which are dependent on the already established relationship with the intended date. There may already be a ‘real’ life relationship in the form of an established offline friendship that has now moved across to Facebook. In this instance there’s no need to act all weird then, as there is already a good basis for a ‘date’. Both parties are already familiar with one another and there must be a connection outside of the Facebook ‘friending’ process. Henceforth, proceed as you would normally. Do not be so crass as to write on their FunWall ‘fancy yours a bit’. All social signposts point to N.O. (no opportunity).

Another scenario could be that you are newly acquainted with someone having become a Facebook ‘friend’ before the formality of exchanging a closer and more intimate method of contact such as their mobile phone number. Well avoidance of the FunWall approach is again paramount. And the building on a set of established (and reciprocated) social actions will work in your favour. What can be overlooked is that that the individual profile says a LOT about the who you are. So time to look closer to home and to watch for misleading wall posts and potentially negative ‘shared’ items etc.

SNSs mark new territories of social interaction and have new procedures for introductions, meetings and falling-outs. The social prioritisation of ‘dating’ does rather reek of desperation on Facebook, something that is still best left for those sites where people expect to be ‘picked up’ and ‘hit’ on. Unlike MySpace, Facebook merges networks of ‘known’ and validated friends. It would be embarrassing for you and them if you over-stepped the ‘good taste’ mark. And since you are already Facebook ‘friends’, what’s to stop you from leading from the traditional method of just asking someone out. Now that can’t be too hard with all these communication opportunities can it?

9 Responses to “#301 Target”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Next installment – please :)

  2. Maz Hardey says:

    Oh incidently there’s a Google banner ad that is promoting a dating site for ‘marrieds’. Err can’t say i approve of this on my blog thank you Google 😛

  3. Maz Hardey says:

    Hi Jacks,

    completely agree that SNSs represent a means to provide a more ‘well-rounded’ view of someone. Especially if you are getting to konw someone.

    The interesting thing with the cross-over from dating sites and SNSs are how people ‘pimp’ their profiles. On SNSs indivduals are more ‘exposed’ as there are links to not only tastes, likes and dislikes, but also a whole media menagerie of images, videos, links, shares etc not to mention networks of friends something that you do not get on dating sites. Although it would be interesting if you did! .. having said that there is a dating site here in the UK (My Single Friend MSF) where friends build profiles and make recommendations for potential dates. This is interesting as again like SNS there is opporutnity for ‘checks’ or social verification that who someone says they are s true. On a dating site this is usually concerns that someone is not 1. married, 2. a player, 3. a combination of 1 and 2.

    Also from the research on dating sites compared to SNSs it seems users find it easier to ‘fake’ information on dating sites, than on SNSs as again these are connected to ‘real’ network of ‘friends’.

    But if someone really wanted to there’s nothing to stop them from being fake ‘here’ , ‘there’ and ‘everywhere’.

    :-)

    Looking forward to reading some of your research soon!

  4. jacks says:

    Hey Maz – it’s Jacqueline from Canada. I thought I’d contribute to this discussion as I think it is a provocative one and closely related to my own work on online dating. I think FB is a window of opportunity for “online daters” (who sometimes consider themselves as such even if they have met someone through a social networking site) and was being used by some of my research participants as a supplement to their online dating strategies – e.g. trying to get a more “well-rounded” idea of their potential online dates by adding them to their Facebook to scrounge around for bits of info not readily available in their dating profile. I think we shouldn’t be too hasty in suggesting that FB doesn’t provide an opportunity for dating, mating and more online – wouldn’t we prefer to think of social tools as bringing together, no matter what form that togetherness takes? Just random thoughts…

  5. Star says:

    maybe cleverclogs is desperate

  6. Maz Hardey says:

    cleverclogs,

    it could mean that its time to find a dating site!

  7. cleverclogs says:

    I’ve dated, been dating and am now dateless on Facebook.

    Does that mean I’ve had it all wrong from the beginning?

  8. Maz Hardey says:

    Sixfeet

    ‘Horses for courses’ indeed. Completely agree.

    Although what that says about the state of ‘play’ with the ‘relationship status’ updates one has to wonder… perhaps FB is an identifable and harmless flirt with your friends playground. As opposed to a dating site per se?…

  9. SixFeet says:

    I agree. Facebook is not a dating site – the info is not enough in the first place e.g. how tall an individual might matter (does to me) and this is always on dating sites but u would have to ask on Facebook. That could be tricky. So yes horses for course folks.

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