Monday 26th November, 2007
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?Tweet