#711 The social pick up on Facebook
Tuesday 13th January, 2009
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.Tweet