This week Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was named “Person of the Year” by TIME magazine. It doesn’t come as a surprise to many after his recent appearance on 60 Minutes as well as the success at the box office for The Social Network.
Whether you like or dislike Zuckerberg as the selection this year is not the issue. If you’re single and dating, you need to give Facebook a shot as you cast a wider romance net. If you’re already logging onto Facebook to post your recent photos and you have an online dating profile, there’s no reason not to combine your efforts.
On the day that TIME crowned Zuckerberg, I was asked by YourTango about how Facebook has changed the way we date. There are obvious pluses and minuses for Facebook daters.
Let’s start with the bad news first.
1. When you rely solely on email, texting, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, often your communication is unilateral. The object of your affection might not be checking their updates, so just like you shouldn’t sit by your phone waiting for his call, don’t stare at your personal computer or PDA waiting for a response. He or she just might be busy.
2. Breaking up has become too easy to do online. If you’re ending your relationship, do so in person, pick up the phone and have a conversation, or set up a SKYPE date to hear their voice. Otherwise you run the risk of being misunderstood if you send a text canceling your plans. Maybe you’re not feeling well. Maybe he thinks it’s over. Think before you press the send button.
3. Changing your Facebook relationship status to “Single” without discussing it with your significant other is a netiquette no-no. Nothing is worse than waking up to see comments on your Facebook wall about his latest rendezvous without you while you’re still looking forward to Saturday’s date with him. It really doesn’t have to be that complicated after all.
4. Falling in love on Facebook won’t work if you don’t take your relationship from online to offline. Don’t fall in love with someone from behind his or her keyboard. Its fun to flirt, use Facebook chat, text, and tweet, but you still need to meet.
Now for the good news.
1. People are indeed falling in love on Facebook. They are reconnecting with people from nursery school and summer camp, as well as forming relationships with people they meet in the real world. If your friends aren’t setting you up anymore, log on to Facebook and start chatting with some old friends.
2. Facebook is responsible for creating a fabulous social calendar. Receiving party invitations on Facebook is a great way to expand your social network. You should attend as many events that interest you that you can while you are single.
3. Facebook is the equivalent to the third largest country in the world, behind China and India. You have a large dating pool to pick from. It should go without saying, but make sure that someone is single before approaching them on Facebook. Don’t come on too strong or you might be looked at as a stalker.
4. Tired of old online dating profiles? On Facebook, singles are more likely to post a recent photo of a family reunion or party photos from the holidays. What you see can really mean what you get, and that’s good news for everyone on the world’s largest social network.
Have you started a romance on Facebook? If so, we’d love to hear your comments.
Julie Spira is a dating and relationship expert and the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.
Follow Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira
The subject of breaking up on Facebook is a hot topic these days. Earlier this month, David McCandless published his now-famous Facebook Breakup Chart which spread like wildfire on the Web. We now know what we already realized. Holiday heartbreak is heading into its busy season.
A month before the chart appeared online, I discussed my Rules of Netiquette for Facebook relationships and breakups with Michelle Yarn at GalTime.com
With over 500 million members on Facebook, relationship status changes have become the darling of the Internet. One can’t help but notice the red heart appear and disappear on the profiles of our friends and our new friends, better known as the friends-of-friends.
Read excerpts from It’s Complicated: Breaking Up in a Facebook World
Breakups used to be so simple. You get dumped. You cry about it. You get advice from close friends and family. They tell you how much better off you are without him. You cut all ties from your ex. Then, eventually you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back into the game.
Yep, those were the good ole days. Those were the days before social networking sites like Facebook splattered your love life across the web like a tabloid. Now, as the Facebook gods have so conveniently pointed out, “It’s Complicated.”
I have a friend (a real life one) who was recently dumped by her boyfriend of three and a half years. When she came to me for advice it started out as your typical breakup pep talk.
While the situation will vary depending on the severity of the split, there are some basic guidelines to help you handle a breakup in the age of Facebook.
According to Julie Spira, social media/relationship expert and author of The Perils of Cyber Dating , one of the most important steps to consider is how to update your status. She says, “I don’t believe singles should constantly change their status from “single” to “in a relationship” to “it’s complicated” and back to “single” for everyone to see. Unless both parties agree on changing their status to “in a relationship” and it’s a serious relationship, no one wants to see the drama. However, it’s the most commented on update you will see on Facebook. People are just curious and want to know the juicy details. If you’re hurt, just delete your status completely to avoid the comments.”
And while many couples will decide to remain friends in real life, the same decision in the world of Facebook can be hell. “When most couples break up, it’s not usually a happy time. More often that not, one has moved on already.” Spira adds, “If you’re still hurting from the split, I suggest de-friending him or her so you don’t have the opportunity to stare at their wall. We can’t help ourselves sometimes due to the curiosity, but it delays the healing process from the one left behind.”
Kelly Spann, a marketing and publicity manager in Virginia, learned this lesson the hard way.
“First off, right after we broke up I totally put him on blast in my status. I was angry, but that definitely wasn’t a classy move. Then I didn’t de-friend him and he didn’t de-friend me. Having to see his status updates, pictures and the various other girls writing things on his wall didn’t help me get over the break up at all.”
What if you’re the one that did the dumping? Have a heart! You may be ready to move on, but the rules of netiquette say there’s no need to rub your ex’s face in it. If you remain Facebook friends, Spira suggests at least changing your privacy settings to prevent your ex from seeing your activity with your new love interest. Otherwise, your ex may find some pretty creative ways to make your single life miserable.
Facebook user Josh Gilbert says his ex knew exactly how to use the social networking site to get back at him after their nasty breakup.
“I had made plans to attend Lollapalooza with a girlfriend, but then we broke up. She went anyway, and only posted pictures of two of my favorite bands – saying to ‘no one in particular’ – ‘Live from Lollapalooza – jealous?’ I can’t prove this was an intentional dig, but I’m convinced it was.”
Even if you delete your ex, there’s still the issue of mutual friends. This one’s hard enough to handle in your day to day life, but Facebook is a whole different beast.
Spira says, “There’s no need to delete the entire world because your relationship has ended, but I do recommend changing your privacy settings in Facebook to ‘friends only.’ You can also select the privacy settings individually for each status update if you prefer, where you have the option to select ‘everyone’, ‘friends,’ or ‘friends of friends.’
Once the drama has subsided and you find yourself ready to get back into the dating scene, Spira says to proceed with caution.
“Unless you are actively ready to date again and would like to meet someone on Facebook, take a break from the status relationship change and just don’t post any relationship status at all. If you’re ready to date, go ahead and list yourself as “single” but be prepared to be hit on. It just happens.”
If you missed Paige Parker on Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show, she talked about her amazing book, Dating Without Drama.
I’m so very pleased to add Paige’s relationship book to the Cyber-Dating Expert Reading Room this month as our featured book.
Paige has revised Dating Without Drama to include a section called “Facebook Without Drama,” with terrific insight on whether to “friend” your new beau on Facebook, as well as the dos and don’ts of text messaging your date.
I truly believe in Paige’s wisdom about how to regain your confidence, become a man magnet, and to attract your dream guy, all in a drama free world with or without cyberdating.
Click here to order your copy of Dating Without Drama!
If it’s time to leave the drama behind, you’ll want to listen to our radio show featuring Paige Parker and Dating Without Drama. Learn how to move your relationship status from single and skeptical to confident and committed.
Find out about more about Facebook Without Drama including should you friend your new beau on Facebook and the dos and don’ts of text messaging your date.
You’ll hear about the red flags and deal breakers for online daters and Paige will share her personal story on how she became a very happily married woman by changing her personal strategies.
Listen to hear dating advice from myself as well as Paige on this special edition of Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show.
Listen to Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show, where Jet and Star – The Wing Girls gave their dating advice for men.
You’ll hear about the Top Ten Facebook Don’ts, Top Ten Online Dating Ad Mistakes, and how guys get can out of the friend zone.
Find out what the most impossible questions women ask men, and learn more about dating, love and romance in a Web 2.0 World.
Dan Schawbel recently interviewed me on the subject of personal branding for Cyber-Dating Expert on his personal branding blog.
Among the questions asked, were what do online dating and personal branding have in common?
Do I think the majority of dating will occur online in the next twenty years?
Is there such a thing as a blind date with the Internet?
My key point that I shared in the interview, is that authenticity is back in style and you can toss the stigma of online dating out the window, with a special thank you to facebook. I gave some recommendations on how to create an irresistible online dating profile, including the catchy screen name, online profile photo tips, and suggestions for being specific in what you are looking for in your essay.
Just how powerful is the relationship status change on Facebook? Read this story from “Facebook Leftover” and feel free to share your own.
My ex-boyfriend and I are both on Facebook. While we were still together we became friends on Facebook. After our break up, we decided together that we would remain friends. We both removed our status on Facebook from “In a Relationship” to no status at all, hoping people wouldn’t make a fuss about it.
The problem is, I can’t help but look at his status updates. I still have strong feelings for him. If I de-friend him, I might hurt his feelings and may never have the chance to get back together with him.
Now, I’m the one who is feeling hurt. He recently changed his status to “In a Relationship” and I know it’s not with me. He’s moved on and is dating someone else and I haven’t. Why does this hurt so much? What should I do?
Dear Facebook Leftover,
There is nothing more powerful on Facebook than the relationship status change. Friends worldwide are obsessed when you change your status from “Single” to “In a Relationship” and then back to “Single. Most people don’t really want to know why “It’s Complicated” but they like to provide their comments regardless.
Friends who never comment suddenly want to know who you are in a relationship with when you change your status from “single” to “In a Relationship.” Even if you change from “Single” to eliminating your relationship status entirely, some question whether you have done so because you have met someone.
To get over your former facebook beau, here’s my advice: you MUST de-friend him. You can’t obsess over what is happening with him and his new sweetheart. If he is interested in getting back together with you, he knows how to find you. Every day that you hang on to the memories of your past and look at his life, you are wasting your precious youth.
Sound harsh? I’m sorry, but de-friend him now. Don’t stare at his wall and start thinking about your future. Let’s start with putting your relationship status back on facebook and list yourself as “Single.” Yes, you open yourself up to questions of “What happened?” and “So sorry it didn’t work out” comments, but you also allow the world to know that you are single. Perhaps a secret crush may see you as single on facebook and contact you. This is exactly how one of our Cyber Love Story of the Week featured couples met in real life.
Other friends of yours may now think about fixing you up when they hear about a great single guy in town. I suggest you go from single without status, to announcing to the world that you are happy and available. It’s a free way to let your true friends lend a hand in your matchmaking activities and get over the guy who apparently has gotten over you.
Keep me posted and best of luck.
If you have a question to ask for Julie Spira, please send an email to CyberDatingExpert.com/contact
“Facebook provides a friendly place for people to engage in conversation, reflect on their past memories and reunite with people they may [have] lost touch with,” said Julie Spira, cyber-dating expert and author of “The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.” “People feel more comfortable in reaching out on Facebook because they don’t run the risk of rejection that they might get on a phone call.
On her Web site, Spira features a “Cyber Love Story of the Week” and said that all kinds of circumstances have helped couples find love on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites not dedicated to dating.
One couple started dating, and ultimately tied the knot, after realizing on Facebook that they share a name.
Out of curiosity, Kelly Hildebrandt, a 20-something female from Florida, searched Facebook for her name. When she found Kelly Hildebrandt, a 20-something male from Texas, she sent him a note.
The two started corresponding over Facebook, he flew out to visit her and eight months later, he proposed.
Facebook Helps New Acquaintances Build Relationships
Spira said social networks also provide places for new acquaintances to become better friends.
“Quite often you will meet someone at a party or business networking event, exchange cards, and become Facebook friends,” she said. Status updates, pictures and comments on a member’s profile give people clues about a potential partner’s dating status.
Article written KI MAE HEUSSNER ABC NEWS
Listen to Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show where my guest, Alan Roger Currie, talked about his book, Mode One: Let the Women Know What You’re REALLY Thinking.
Currie provided dating advice for men with his four modes of verbal communication from his book. Listen and find out which mode you may fall into and how to make changes to successfully end up in MODE ONE.
We also heard from Alan’s girlfriend, Tyler. The couple met in true social networking style on facebook where he took action on his own personal crush and became a facebook dating success story.
Find out what Alan Roger Currie thinks about online dating by listening to the radio show.
The latest couple in the Cyber Love Story of the Week who met on Facebook warmed everyone’s hearts. It’s a story so exciting that it got picked up by the Today show and there may be a television special on their wedding, scheduled for October 11, 2009.
Finding love on Facebook is not a new concept. In a Valentine’s Day interview on Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert radio show, Shayan Zadeh, co-founder of Zoosk, the world’s largest social dating community talked about their popular dating application on Facebook. At that time 16.5 million users were on the Zoosk service. Their growth has risen dramatically to over 40 million users worldwide as of August, 2009. The Zoosk service is also available on Bebo, Hi5, Friendster, and Myspace.
So I have to ask you, have you checked out your name on Facebook lately?