Facebook has been an Internet phenomenon, with over 600 million members and showing no signs of abating in growth. Along with this huge growth has been the emergence of a new culture of relationships. I call this relating 2.0. And along with the promises for connection are the pitfalls that have the potential to ruin your relationship and your reputation. After years of hearing about Facebook dilemmas from singles and couples in my therapy office, here are my top five Facebook faux pas, and how to avoid them happening to you.
You may think spending too much time on Facebook and Twitter is a bad thing—it eats at your time, it's a tool for procrastination, you've become a stalker—but new researcher may have you thinking twice before attempting a social networking sabbatical, especially if you're in a relationship. It turns out Facebook can be good for you.
Politicians are no strangers to scandal, but thanks to the popularity of social networking and sexting, we've got a whole new branch of governmental wrongdoing to deal with. Our prime suspect: Congressman Anthony Weiner.
As a broke, 27-year-old graduate student slowly recovering from a messy break up, I posted a profile on OkCupid in hopes of meeting a guy who did his own laundry and didn’t kill animals. Despite my Baptist parents’ and grandparents’ longstanding encouragement to find a God-fearing gentleman, my standard was slightly lower. A man who was more or less moral would do.
When it comes to Internet romance, the status phrase "It's complicated" might just be the understatement of the decade. I would know, having just survived one of the most bizarre and convoluted online relationships that ever dared to call itself "love."
Right now, 30 percent of couples who have Internet access around the globe meet online. And over the past 14 years, that number has skyrocketed. New research, conducted in part by the eHarmony Lab, shows that the more friends a person knows who have tried and met love online, the more likely he or she is to take a chance on Internet matchmaking. So, as the number of online daters continues to grow, it becomes a domino effect.
Do you feel safe participating in online dating? Or do you worry about who you might meet online? If you fall in the latter category, you're not alone. Sexual assault is a real threat among daters looking for love online.
A new website allows members to bid on attractive users for a first date. If you're attractive, single, and broke, create a profile on WhatsYourPrice.com. Name your price, wait for the offers to come in, and negotiate with the bidder until you've reached a deal. The bidder will fork up the cash on your first date (if he's a guy, presumably after he's already paid for dinner). It's every girl's dream come true!
All the hoopla about how the internet has changed dating is so 2001. These days, we're gushing over how smartphone apps are transforming the way we meet people, sext, break up and cheat. Thanks to mobile-based calendars, emails and location services, it's virtually impossible for smartphone owners to commit the usual first date hijinks, like getting lost or being unable to call for a rain check. Now, two practical new apps may make dating even easier by helping New Yorkers find free condoms in the city, and by ensuring that emergency contacts know that you made it through a first date without getting roofied or kidnapped.
In what's being lauded as a victory for the LGBT community, Facebook has added civil unions and domestic partnerships as relationship statuses for users in the United States, Canada the United Kingdom, France and Australia. The feature, which went into effect last Thursday, allows you to choose either of those options (or "in a Civil Partnership," for those in the UK), in the drop-down menu of familiar statuses like "Married," "in a Relationship," and "it's Complicated."
In theory, online dating should be fairly simple, but those of us who have tried it know that setting up a profile, weeding through matches and sending flirtatious messages back and forth is almost as time-consuming as meeting people offline. Not to mention that most reputable services are expensive. If you're open to online dating, but aren't ready to sign up for an account just yet, you may want to consider apps and services that work directly from your Facebook and Twitter account to help you find love.
One of the reasons free online dating sites are so popular is that paid sites sound like a ripoff. Who wants to shell out hundreds of dollars to meet the love of their life? Last spring, OkCupid argued that people should never pay for online dating because there aren't enough people willing to pay a fee for dating services. Since fewer people means fewer matches, online daters should stick to free sites that may have a larger base of active users. Although OkCupid are right in that people hate paying for websites, others argue that matches on paid dating sites will take the service more seriously since they'll want to make the most of their financial investment. The Big Think cites a study published in Current Psychology that tested this idea on a group of undergraduates last year.
If you’ve been reticent to try online dating because you like to do it the “old fashioned” way or you’re afraid of internet predators, it’s time to put your hold-ups on hold and get in the game. Once you get started, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by the options available for your online trysts, not to mention the sheer number of people who are looking for love. So boot up, log on, and start searching for “the one”. Here are a few reasons to try it.
If you find me charming, funny and confident, then the answer is no. Although, we might have emailed. Why? Because in terms of personality, I'm Don Draper ... electronically. In the flesh? Not so much.