Remember that? That wonderful thing we used to do to get somebody’s attention, woo them, and let them know they were wanted. Yeah, I miss those days.
Now, the most we can expect are likes on our Instagram photos, constant RTs and favourites on our not-so-funny tweets, and persistent creeping on LinkedIn. Seriously, what happened to us? In a world where efficiency is everything, time seems better spent “flirting” on social media than actually going out and meeting somebody – welcome to the 21st Century Dating Game.
But with every new game comes new rules.
Rule #1: Look Before You Leap
Or in this case, before you poke, like, RT, or creep. With everything about us publicized all over the Internet, the best way to find a potential date (or fling) is to screen them before you start your pursuit. So what happens when you peruse social media channels and find somebody you think you may like? You find out things you normally would on a first encounter.
Facebook Checklist: Are they in a relationship? What’s the age difference? Are you attracted to them? Do you share similar interests?
Instagram Checklist: Be honest, do you like their selfies? Do they like the same food as you? Do they seem fun?
LinkedIn Checklist: Are they employed?
Twitter Checklist: Are their tweets (which is likely a reflection of the person): funny, intellectual, or irritating?
Rule #2: Make the First Move Obvious
Treat this like your first date – but instead of a 2-3 hour dinner, it’s done with the click of a button. Like a photo of them (instead of a photo of their dinner from the night before) to let them know you think they’re attractive. If you’re feeling bold, pick an older photo of them or like multiple.
Rule #3: Don’t Jump the Gun
Wait. You may be into them, but they might not feel the same way about you. If they mirror your behaviour and start liking some of your photos, you may have found a potential connection.
Rule #4: Grow Your Relationship
Okay, so you’ve spent the last few weeks “flirting” on whatever social media site you found them on. Start “getting serious” by adding them on their other social channels. It’s a sign you’re into them and let’s them take a sneak peek at who you are.
Rule #5: Follow Through
Send them a private message on Facebook, give them your number, and set up a date – a real one.
This may seem like the guide to becoming the ultimate creep or a path to killing any sort of traditional dating methods, but the reality is that this is happening. For me, this is a natural (and inevitable) progression in the dating world. Conventional dating gave way to dating sites like eHarmony and Plenty of Fish, so using social media doesn’t seem like much of stretch.
Let the games begin ;)