Think Twice before Hitting Confirm
It happens when you least expect it. You might be at work or at home when the red light comes on. You have a new Facebook friend request and it’s from the guy (or girl) you just met online. How should you respond?
Before you hit confirm, you need to realize the consequences that come with your decision. Just like there are consequences for revealing too much on a first date, there are also major consequences for accepting a Facebook request before you are ready.
Sarah Gooding with PlentyofFish (POF.com) is an expert when it comes to relationships and online dating. As the project manager and analyst with the world’s largest online dating site, PlentyofFish (POF.com), Sarah has an influential voice when it comes to deciding which information is critical for users to share on POF.
“Unlike your online dating profile, which has only a few paragraphs and 4 or 5 photos, your Facebook page is full of history that can give a future date the wrong impression,” Sarah says. “Do you really want someone to judge you because you had a beer in your hand at the beach or you were at a bar and showed a little too much skin?”
You may not realize it, but your comments, photos, status updates, likes, interests and choice of friends all reveal insight into your personal life. They also cause potential dates to make unfair assumptions about your ability to love or commit.
One of the things Sarah recommends to all singles – online and in the real world – is don’t reveal everything at once. She says every relationship needs mystery. Dating is a dance and it takes two people to tango.
She says all singles need to be reminded that Facebook and online dating are not the same. Singles need to keep the two accounts separate and unequal.
“You can tailor your online dating profile to reflect whatever you want, but your Facebook is influenced by more than just you,” Sarah said. “Friends tag you in things all the time and if you forget to untag yourself, guess what. People can make the wrong assumptions.”
So how soon is too soon to add someone? Sarah recommends meeting a someone in person before you accept them as a friend on Facebook. And if someone sends you an unsolicited request, she says the onus is not on your to accept them.
“You didn’t cause this situation. They did,” Sarah says. “So you do have a right to ignore their request. Wait until you’re comfortable with this person. You can always accept the request later down the road. And if you must accept the request, take advantage of your privacy settings so that you don’t reveal your entire history at once.”
Guest post By: Marlene Garzona