Proper Facebook Etiquette

#569 At perusal of their digital footprint

Tuesday 29th September, 2009

Sharing URL

Dear Mariann,
Presumably you’ve seen quite the smorgasbord of digital socially-related emotional trauma. May I ask what your advice would be for the following completely hypothetical situation.

Gentleman falls head over heels with digital personality, with whom he can only associate at a remove. Obviously only a remove, because his only interaction with said personality is his perusal of their digital footprint. You know the sort of thing… FB presence, blog and so on.

Are there accepted steps for online wooing, or is this always and only ever going to be creepy and deeply sad?

I ask, of course, merely for information.


Dear R, We are all placed, in some form or other, at a digital remove. This can only serve as a most fortuitous starting point to your potential charm offensive. One can safely assume that the particularly digital personality holds apparent interest both at an aesthetic (I know how crass of me to imply such indicators) and intellectual regard. I cannot imagine that you would follow their footprints should the intended not encompass all of the above. For why then would they make such worthy candiditure?…

Now let us cut to the chase, where things may err into the side of creepy and deeply sad can be offset by the application of a subset of rules of irrelevance. For example, whether you have traced their digital footprint through Facebook, LinkedIn, blog posts, Twitter etc., your desire is likely to be ignited through one or all of the previous encounters, which together generate in you the contour of excitment about this particuar person/a. Thus, one can safely assume that ‘in meeting’ their elegance and the strength of your feelings would structure attentions in a non-creepy and removed from ‘saddo’ manner. Such is the appeal of a personality, desire and lusted for propensities.

But what of your next move? Perhaps I am safe to assume that you already are within their network/s and can reposition yourself from a closer angel than that of removed admirer. And so onto the wooing. Just as the properties of material social context hold their own ‘rule’ and rituals, it is just as effective to employ these across the digital landscape. If one is wanting to penetrate the mutual and reciprocated activity of an encounter with another then it will fall to you to entice the other. The expectation here is for you to take on the role of Wooer to your Wooed. As a result, if the attraction is mutual, all participants should fall into place in terms of their role and presence.

The social fact is that whenever a person seeks to entice another this must be commenced with a first tentative enquiry to establish IF there is possibility for mutual entreaty – and also whether their particular attributes adhere to the person/a to which you find yourself attracted – and then lead with the various merits of attraction that you intend to play a part. In short, what about your own digital footprint holds attraction for them.

Social presence and the accompanying art of communication holds at its basis a strategic directing of social interludes, snippets and display. Thus, such strategy is rule based established by a ‘what if’ and ‘does as if they were to’ reflexive sequence of events. Keep in mind, that whatever their digital presence this reduction of personal characterisation tells only part of the story. Yes image, video, updates, words etc. very effectively draw a picture of the self, but only the one the individual chooses to paint and braodcast to others. If they are as prolific as you suggest it is likely that they have left nothing to chance and intended their person/a to enrapt you in exactly the way you describe.

Perhaps you have not been the hunter after all. You are the hunted. Act accordingly.

Otherwise cut yourself off from such entanglements of digital life and find yourself a nice Yorkshire lass.

20 Responses to “#569 At perusal of their digital footprint”

  1. Dr Mariann Hardey says:

    @ Mandy,
    how do you know, did she catch up with you?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Is this Facebook abuse? A freshers wek competition to get the max number of friends but these won't be real friends.

  3. Dr Mariann Hardey says:

    @Rob part quatre,
    Always to hand is liquid refreshment. It's important to keep your fluids up.

    As for Ms Julie I wonder if she hear's voices too?…

  4. Dr Mariann Hardey says:

    @ Anon, lucky escape indeed. Thankfully you were less blind date and more initially blind sighted to have not foreseen their poteneial Mr Creepy stats.
    Thank goodness for Profile Pages…

  5. Anonymous says:

    I was set up on a blind date. Thought- look him up on Facebook! Horror he was not so much Mr Dreamy (brain surgeon, international art dealer and surfer) but Mr Creepy and what about his friends. No Way. Lucky escape – had to wash hair – feed cat – clean everything… generally not available!

  6. Rob says:

    Sounds to me like Julia's pulling a few legs. The alternative is too scary for words. One wonders what illicit search term could possibly have brought her here.

    Dr Hardy, I really don't know why I assumed you'd be holding a drink. Probably something to do with your calm self-assurance…

  7. Anonymous says:

    So my ID as 'sexy beast' – with photo – won't pull on Facebook.

  8. Julie says:

    My church has a facebook group and it is right that we sue in God's cause. De-friending is our way of staying true to ourselves and God's goodness. You all should follow in our path.

  9. Dr Mariann Hardey says:

    @Rob part trois,
    who said i was holding a drink…

  10. Dr Mariann Hardey says:

    @Julie, Praise be and hallelujah you've found my blog. You are on the path to salvation. Well done. No need to defriend this particular Godessly creation.

  11. Dr Mariann Hardey says:

    @Rob, part deux,

    I have conducted a Google search and I assume that you are one the 107,000,000 for rob [definition]. Retrieved in (0.16 seconds).

    Those are good odds for following your digital footprint for potential dining compatability.

  12. Julie says:

    I live in a church-going community kids at my school have signed virginity pacts with God, including me. We punished the girls who have sex or even just fooled around by talking about them behind their backs, de-friending them and telling our pastor. England is too permissive and people should find God not facebook.

  13. Rob says:

    @Fun in Games.

    I've been called an awful lot worse. At least this way no one can throw a drink at me.

  14. Dr Mariann Hardey says:

    @ JG,

    Well quite. If its on facebook, it must be real.

    Couldn't she poke him and tell him that his offenses override his pleasantaries in 'RL'?… I hope you charged suitably for laptop use.

  15. JamesG says:

    A few weeks ago when my flatmate had his best friend and his best friends girlfriend over. There was a fight, so the the girl wants to use my laptop as she needs to get on facebook to break up with him. Better than RL then :)

  16. Dr Mariann Hardey says:

    @Fun in Games, (gosh that was quick to comment)

    Thank you for your concern(s), re. the tags, only to militate against unnecessary interaction which would otherwise monopolise one's sociability.

  17. Mandy says:

    It is odd that some do their romantic pursuits in the full site of their networks. I know someone who made a big play that was all show because she just wanted to be seen as chaser!

  18. Fun in games says:

    Mariann, has 'Rob' noticed that you've tagged this post 'saddo' and 'creep'. Have you two been introduced?

  19. Dr Mariann Hardey says:


    only if the invitation comes according to the calculable rules with regard to the pursuits of wooing interests.

  20. Rob says:


    Ah, but what if the object of one's affections IS a nice Yorkshire lass.

    Still, I'm flattered that you recycled my little turn of phrase as a headline. Having said that, I wonder if your advice doesn't fall dangerously on the cusp of "she's asking for it".

    Just kidding. The thought and elaboration was much appreciated. So… fancy dinner this weekend?

Leave a Reply