Proper Facebook Etiquette

#711 The social pick up on Facebook

Tuesday 13th January, 2009

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Out of the blue I got a poke from a cute guy. I poked back and he messaged me. So this is Facebook flirting. What is the appropriate way to respond to someone trying to pick up on Facebook?

When it comes to social networking there are, it appears, for some other priorities than those of adding friends and creating an exciting social milieu of information snippets and activities. Perhaps in ten years time it will be interesting to come back and examine the essential social requirements of being on Facebook, today we are it appears on the threshold of such obligations – where for some it is essential and others could not care less – or they’re on MySpace *shudder*. Even during the time it takes me to write this post I speculate that various Facebook PUA’s (that’s Pick Up Artists for the abbreviated challenged amongst you) will be trawling the site for ‘hot’ ‘babes’ and ‘dudes’. A major social faux pas? An intrusion, nay spam, into your ‘private’ social world? Or an opportunistic and appropriate way to introduce one stranger who is attracted to another? Friendships and relationships have always been subject to scrutiny the subtle social niceties, the kind of social etiquette that takes time to forge and to appreciate. And now ever more we are aware of potentially new social footholds and footholes to take advantage of and fall into. Everyone talks about social compatibility, should this be left in the hands of fate or made to happen?

Whilst part of me acknowledges that there could be something endearing and potentially romantic about a flattering message ‘out the blue’ on Facebook, generally I would categorise this in the ‘creepy’ and ‘stalker’ set of social actions. This is not Valentines, there is no lusting from afar in an admirable and passionate manner, more than likely this is the work of a PUA. Personally I prefer great friendship then the romance – but call me old fashioned. Thus far you have been pursued via a Poke (who says romace is ‘dead’?) and no doubt a flirtatious and suitably smooth message. Hey if this approach appeals then go with it. You made no mention as to whether this is just a random ‘someone’ from Facebook, or someone prior known to you and/or your friends. If the former, I would treat with caution. Essentially this is a stranger and their technique points to the strange too. If the latter, then tread again with care, but you can do some ‘background’ social checking on their behalf too, such as the likelihood of their being deliberately obsequious to win your favour, or even if they already have a reputation for pursuing others in the same manner.

New friends are great. New friends you are attracted to even better. Where I prefer to meet and know someone off Facebook first, the times are a changing and the current digitally social age is a testament to such negotiations. You asked the appropriate manner to respond to a pick up on Facebook. This is dependent on whether the pick up is welcome or not. If yes, then proceed as you would away from Facebook, with a light-hearted spring in your step that someone is attracted to you, the same that you are to them. Oh and double check their profile for associated sleaze etc. If on the other hand they are abhorrent to you, block, ignore and remove yourself from their intentions. This is easier to do on Facebook than away from such digital distractions where one can happily set and re-set privacy settings accordingly without causing the other offence or even acknowledgement of their actions.

I would prefer to bring back the idea of romance. It may not be dead, but it might require a little more imagination than a fluffy toy, a poke on Facebook or a ‘I think you’re hot’ message.

6 Responses to “#711 The social pick up on Facebook”

  1. Mariann Hardey says:

    @ Twonight


  2. Twonight says:

    Imposible – I’m too hot

  3. Mariann Hardey says:

    @ One night,

    yes interesting article. Or it could be that ‘she’s just not that into you’…

  4. Mariann Hardey says:

    PUA – Pick Up Artist

  5. One night says:

    Todays Indie reports that mathematicians a woman increases her chances of getting a “good” man by not sleeping with a partner straight away. They used a numerical model to show that better partners were willing to date for a longer time before having sex, but “bad” men were more reluctant to hang around. Professor Robert Seymour, of University College London, said: “Longer courtship is a way for the female to acquire information about the male. By delaying mating, the female is able to reduce the chance she will mate with a bad male. A male’s willingness to court for a long time is a signal that he is likely to be a good male.
    “Long courtship is a price paid for increasing the chance that mating, if it occurs, will be a harmonious match which benefits both sexes. This may help to explain the commonly held belief that a woman is best advised not to sleep with a man on a first date.”The research is published in this month’s Journal of Theoretical Biology. Dr Peter Sozou, of Warwick Medical School and the LSE Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, said: “The strategic problem a female faces is how to screen out bad males, and this is where long courtship comes into play. A male is assumed to always want to mate with a female, but a good male is more willing to pay the cost of a long courtship to claim the prize of mating.”
    No quick shags then :)

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