One likely first date question:
“Do you want to be friends on Facebook?”
The wise answer:
“Well, I do. But I like to get to know people in real life first. You know, the old fashioned way. Spending time with each other. Talking face to face…all that stuff.”
The answer you should avoid at this point:
So much of our human interaction has become electronically dependent. Not to say that’s a bad thing, but when you meet someone the traditional way, it may be a good idea to hold off for a while on meeting their digital persona. This isn’t a criticism of online dating or using social media to interact. It’s more of a “if you met in real life, get to know each other in real life” kind of thing.
When we rely on social media to get to know each other, we may not be viewing a person as accurate as the one we can begin to see face to face. In the early days of a relationship, we look for red flags, for the “wrong things”. It can be so easy to misinterpret something someone has written on social media.
Someone’s profile may purely be for humor. Someone may be a huge foodie and not a “fine dining snob”. If you start viewing his profile too soon, you may think he’s out of his mind, a snob or an angry ranter. This could be a distorted perception of the real human behind that screen. You may judge something he has written to be part of who he is, when in actuality it is not.
I can’t stress enough the importance of getting to know the person. Forget about the profile. Talk. Talk a lot. See each other. Go for coffee. Do phone calls. Learn his vocal inflections when he tells a story. Listen to both the content and the delivery. Make eye contact. This is how you get to know the REAL him. The good side and the not so good side (because we all have a not so good side).
[Tweet “So much of our human interaction has become electronically dependent”]
Later on after some real interaction, you should know you have someone good on your hands. You won’t be reading updates about personal drama and passive aggressive messages to people. You know, stuff like this:
“Saw someone today who I thought was a friend.”
“Today at work, I was escorted out of the building for mouthing off to my boss. Thanks, Company Name. You did me a favor.”
“Cruisin’ ’for broads with the bro’s.”
After you really do know him, then open up your digital hearts. It will be a much more fun experience because you won’t have to bear the job of being a detective, translator and literature professor. You will be able to interact and read each other’s updates with comfort and have fun together. It won’t be a process of getting to know each other from behind a screen.