I was dating this guy that excitedly inquired about taking the next step in our developing relationship. Yep, after only a few months of a movie here, drinks there, paddle-boating elsewhere, he admits to me something that I would’ve never expected. This man wants to become Facebook friends! I immediately assume that he is joking, reply with a laugh, a “You-Silly-Goose” pat on the back, and commenced with flirting. I then noticed that he was serious by the straight lips plastered across his face. So like any girl that wants to appear cool, I said it was fine and moved on with more flirtatious conversation.
Deep down inside, I was freaking out! Exposing your “social self” to that special person is like that of placing a flashlight underneath your chin in the dark- almost everything is visible, kind of awkward and downright scary at times. Friends, foes, family, flaws, fictitious fun, and everything else in that category are available at the click of a button. Fiddlesticks! I have to untag myself to that photo because I look goofy. My stomach looks big in this one. Let me untag this picture where my tongue is sticking out 5 inches from my mouth…wouldn’t want him to make any assumptions there! Why does my butt look non-existent in this one? Maybe I should change my profile picture.
Over analytical and overly dramatic? Yes. Typical of many? Yes! Social Networking can either help or hinder a relationship. I completely agree that one should never be ashamed of their past and present [via Facebook], as long as growth has occurred. I can even admit that my Facebook page is [almost] shame-free, but with a social network comes social problems. You may find that your potential girl/guy is connected to your ex, an enemy, or the town floozy; like that of a nerd watching Star Wars for the 5th time, questions that would not normally come about begin to arise. You become inquisitive and curious…and…then the stalking begins. You then risk the chance of learning things that you did not want to know- we all know what happened to the poor kitty that was curious. For instance, why does he/she take an endless amount of self-imposed pictures? Why are his lips poking out like that? When was this picture taken!?! Social Networking can bring about plenty who, what, when, where, whys, and how’s.
On a less pessimistic side, you can learn things about one another. Your page can spark conversation for future outings. So I’ve noticed on your page that your mother is beautiful. Tell me about her. The person can possibly discover your past without asking the tedious and typical get-to-know-you questions that often occur within the first 5 dates. Online flirting is also a fun way to let one know that he/she is thinking of the other person. Some even feel inclined to let their guard down and become more of a bold and exciting person behind the computer. One can even, dare I say it, poke another person, and you know what happens after that! It is undeniable that social networking has brought a new form of flirting and displays of love to the table.
Facebook, Twitter, Zoosk.com, Match.com, eHarmony.com, bHarmony.com…there is an overwhelming amount of ways to socialize via internet. In a world where even politicians get themselves in trouble over it, can this type of socializing be helpful or harmful in getting to know one another? When is it an appropriate time to become friends? Can these social networks excite or exasperate a relationship?