In a recent interview with CNN’s Karin Caifa, we talked about digital etiquette for Valentine’s Day.
With courtship getting digital, here are some dos and don’ts on posting your date or romantic rendezvous on social media.
Some of the tips include:
- Do put that smart phone down. It sends a bad message to your date that maybe there’s someone more important than the person sitting across the table from you.
- Don’t post all of those early date details on Twitter or Facebook.
- Do share very little about what’s going on with your your new beau in the early stages of the relationship.
- Don’t lose friends and followers by over sharing your relationship details
- Do keep in mind who might be on your sweetheart’s list of Facebook friends. Coworkers, a boss, family members, even parents. Those wall posts that you think are sweet could be embarrassing to your Valentine.
- Don’t post your play-by-play every hour about your romantic rendezvous including arriving at the hotel, seeing the flowers in the room, going to dinner, or sipping champagne.
Remember, in a new relationship, he may still be dating others, you may be dating others, and you’re not ready to become “Facebook Exclusive,” until you’ve had the talk.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and netiquette expert. She’s the author of The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Digital Manners and The Perils of Cyber-Dating.
For more digital dating advice, visit CyberDatingExpert.com, where you can sign up for the Weekly Flirt newsletter, Facebook.com/RulesofNetiquette and Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.
We know that you’re excited about your upcoming date or new relationship, but are you both on the same digital page?
Here are some Dos and Don’ts on how to handle social media and love on February 14th.
DO: send a fun and flirty “Happy Valentine’s Day” text to the person you’ll be spending the holiday with. It will generate excitement leading up to your date.
DON’T: Keep your phone on the table during the date or check text messages. It sends a message that someone else is more important than you are.
DO: Send a text message inviting them for a SKYPE date if you can’t be together or if they live out of town.
DON’T: Post photos of the two of you as a couple on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram unless both of you decide together that you don’t mind your extended network to view your whereabouts.
DO: Post a photo of the cute red or pink dress you might be wearing on your date.
DON’T: Tag your new boyfriend on Facebook. Chances are he hasn’t told his buddies and work pals about his Valentine’s plans.
DO: Post a photo if you’ve received flowers, a fun gift, or of the dessert at dinner. Everyone loves to view the photos and will cheer you on with “likes.”
DON’T: Post your Happy Valentine’s message on your date’s wall. Saying you can’t wait until the evening together should remain private. Remember, a simple post may be innocent. However your friends might wonder what kind of wild night the two of you will be having. Or worse yet, his ex-girlfriend might start posting inappropriate comments to ruin your evening.
DO: Send a digital gift, such as his or her favorite band on iTunes, an e-card, or a redeemable gift card to a store or restaurant.
DON’T: Send a musical montage of “I Love You” songs if you haven’t said those three little words yet.
DO: Ask for permission before you post anything online. Remember you’re creating a permanent digital footprint and your status and photos can be shared, even by people you don’t know.
DON’T: Overshare. Remember, many of your friends are single and may not be enjoying the day.
DO: Make an exciting announcement. If you become engaged on Valentine’s Day, your friends will want to know.
DON’T: Change your Facebook relationship status to “In a Relationship” until both of you have had the talk and agree to be on the same digital page.
Do you have any social media rules for Valentine’s Day?
Your comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is a leading online dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating and The Rules of Netiquette. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
Digital love – Should texting be a part of your dating life?
According to a Rice University study, both men and women are sending text messages to their S.O.’s.
In a recent article on Prevention.com, I shared tips and texting advice to help spice up your love life, along with a few precautions to make sure you don’t end up in the digital doghouse.
1. DON’T overdo it. Sending a simple happy face to your loved one can be a fun and flirty way to brighten up their day, but the overuse of emoticons reduces the effectiveness. In other words, if every message you send is punctuated with a smile or a wink, your partner will find it harder to figure out what you’re really feeling. (And off-topic but related: The overuse of exclamation marks, especially by men, is a turn-off.)
2. DO embrace the quick hello. I’m a big fan of sending a good morning text to your sweetheart. It never hurts to add ‘xoxo’ at the end to put a smile on his face.
3. DON’T send explicit photos. Even if you haven’t been a teenager for decades, sending naked photos via texting can still come back to haunt you. This is the biggest mistake women make. I can’t stress enough that anything you send digitally can and will be shared by others.
4. DO use it for quick updates. Texting is tailor-made for confirming plans or giving a status update to someone who’s waiting on you. If you’re running late for a date or appointment, you should always send a text to let the other party know.
5. DON’T text angry—ever. The problem with relying on text messages is you can’t hear the sound of someone’s voice. A text message sent in jest may be received as hurtful, and cause a fight. If you find a text exchange veering into argument territory, that’s the time to switch over to a phone call or talking in person. Do sleep on it. Just because you can send a text doesn’t mean you should—especially if it concerns your relationship. If you have to get something off your chest, send it to yourself (and only to yourself!) in an email and sleep on it. You might feel differently about it in the morning.
Read full article at PreventionMagazine.com
Julie Spira is an online dating and netiquette expert. She’s the author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Manners on the Web.
Photo Credit: LiveStock – Fotolia.com
While I’m a fan of JDate and recommend the site to many Jewish singles that I create irresistible online dating profiles for, this recent introduction message from a man who actually liked a woman’s profile, broke multiple rules of netiquette.
What exactly did he do wrong?
He corrected what he believed was a grammatical error and took it one step further and took a screen-shot of the improper sentence and forwarded it to her in his introductory email.
Where was his dating etiquette? How could he not know he was making a huge dating mistake? First impressions do matter, so of course he blew any chance of meeting her. Should she give forgive him? Would you run the other way or laugh it off? Feel free to chime in with your comments.
Subject: Commented on your profile essay
While I believe you should use the “Spelling and Grammar” check on business and social emails, “aspires” was not incorrectly spelled and slipped through the cracks. If you look closely at his comment, ironically you’ll notice a few grammatical errors on his end as he typed “U” instead of the word” you” and “sayin” instead of “saying.” Was the pot calling the digital kettle black? Should you use slang and shorten words in an email if you’re not limited to 140 Characters on Twitter or 160 in a text message?
As an online dating expert and one who diligently preaches about first impressions and netiquette, he failed miserably.
Stunned by receiving this email from a potential suitor, the recipient decided she had four choices:
- Ignore him.
- Delete his email and possibly block his profile.
- Write back and laugh it off.
- Write back and let him know he was correct about one thing. He was indeed a jerk.
She chose option four and responded as follows:
Subject: Re: Commented on your profile essay
“While I appreciate a profile with perfect punctuation, I don’t believe an introduction email to someone whose profile you actually liked should start with a critique unless they’ve asked for one.”
“However, since punctuation and grammar are important to you, please note in your email to me, that the word “you” is spelled improperly as “U” and not y-o-u. Please note that there is no such word in the dictionary of “sayin.” The appropriate spelling of that word should have a “g” at the end of it and should be “saying.”
“However, you did spell the word jerk correctly.”
Was it too harsh of a reply? What would you have done?
Feeling completely embarrassed, the gentleman pursuer wrote a 300+ word apology letter, blaming his behavior on his father. Was it a red flag that he put the blame on his father or just a witty apology? She appreciated that he didn’t get defensive and a cyber flame war was not initiated.
“Thank you for your note and other than attempt to explain (not sure that’s possible), I apologize and am truly sorry for sending that note to you, truly. Jerk is correct and more than kind and again, rather than you simply dismissing this stupidity with no response, I can’t thank you enough for your words, thoughts and feelings in your response.”
“I’m sure you are familiar with the expression ‘like father, like son’, this is something my father would do, his intent was well meaning, but it came across rude and insensitive. I dubbed his stupidity to other family members as, ‘foot in mouth disease’. What possessed me to send this e-mail to you was sheer stupidity, for the life of me I can’t figure it out…just trying to do the right thing, in an ass backward manner.”
“Although you may not believe me…I am not a jerk. You’re correct in that I truly enjoyed and appreciated reading your profile, however, in attempting to be a good citizen, much the same as flashing my headlights to an oncoming car whose lights are off after sunset, I fell victim to my dad’s ‘foot in mouth disease’.”
“Yes, I had plans of reaching out to you tomorrow, in the hopes after reading my profile, you felt meeting one another made sense.”
“I’m so very upset, I felt I owed it to you to apologize as soon as I read your note.”
“I’m hoping you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me. Should you be receptive to starting over with one another, I’m messaging you for all the reasons you state within that portion of your profile, as well as your straightforwardness, ‘current’ age and beautiful ‘current ‘pictures.”
“Again, thank you for taking the time to send your note, which surely helps me from repeating this same jerky behavior.”
At the end of the digital day, critiquing someone’s dating profile will get you in the doghouse. Would you give him a second chance, or the opportunity at a first chance? Have you ever critiqued a stranger’s online dating profile? Have you ever done this same? Your comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is a leading online dating expert and the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene and helps singles ride off into the digital sunset by shortening their search. For more dating advice, sign up for our Weekly Flirt newsletter and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert
Photo Credit: © Blanca – Fotolia.com
Should you accept all facebook friends requests?
In our Ask the expert series on Your Tango, I was asked, “Should I accept a friends request from my husband’s friends?” Just what are the rules of netiquette on Facebook?
Watch our video with my tips on how to handle a delicate digital situation.
If you loved this video, please like us on Facebook too!
To friend, or not to friend? This question comes up all too often from singles I’m coaching when they first start dating someone new.
My advice is always a firm no. Not just yet.
Although you may be enthusiastic about your phone conversations, have sent a few text messages back-and-forth, and enjoy spending 1-3 hours every day on Facebook, it might seem like the next logical step to add your new date as a friend on Facebook. I call this trend “premature friending” and it might lead to a startling ending of a relationship that never had the full chance to move forward on a normal digital course.
Setting romantic boundaries on Facebook and other social networks can be quite tricky. However, it really doesn’t have to be so complicated after all.
So without further digital adieu, here are some of the most popular questions I’m asked, with answers to help your love life, both online and in real life.
Should you ignore a Facebook friend request before meeting your date?
If you regularly ignore other requests from strangers or friends-of-friends, then do the same with the man or woman you have not yet met. Think about it. Your new date might be secretly cyber stalking you to check on your where-abouts to see if it adds up to the way you described yourself. Sound creepy? Well, it is. So yes, ignore it. They aren’t a friend yet, nor are they your boyfriend or girlfriend.
You had a great first date. Is it safe to send a friend request?
No, not just yet. Unless you discussed a business deal or partnership and want to ease your way in with a Linkedin request, he or she is quite likely still on the market. They won’t want you gazing at their online activity, nor should you be staring at theirs. Avoid posting comments about your date or post the cute photo that you snapped on your iPhone after your first martini. It’s too soon to go spreading the news on the public Internet.
You had sex. Are you ready to be Facebook friends?
Just because you spent time together between the sheets, doesn’t mean it’s time to change your status to “In a Relationship.” Make sure you have the talk first about your relationship. If you’re both on the same digital page, then go ahead and change the relationship status together. If you aren’t in a committed relationship, you’re likely to have your feelings hurt when you see his arm around another girl or her in an uncompromising photo with another guy. If either one of you is sitting on the digital fence, then stay friends offline before becoming friends online.
The relationship never took off. Can we just be friends?
If you know for certainty that there was no chemistry or a chance for romance, and no one feels jilted, go ahead and become friends if you truly like each other and know it will be platonic. If you find yourself staring at his or her wall wondering what they’re up to, then you’re not being honest with yourself. Politely unfriend them until you know you’re over it.
At the end of the digital day, don’t let your feelings be hurt if the other party ignores your friend request. Everyone has their own prerequisites for friending and unfriending each other on the world’s largest social network.
Julie Spira is a leading online dating and netiquette expert. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating. Visit her at CyberDatingExpert.com for dating advice. Connect with Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira, Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert and Facebook.com/RulesofNetiquette
Groupon, Living Social, and a myriad of deal-of the day sites have sprouted up like wild-fire. It’s too tempting not to look at a deal in your city. So what’s a dater to do when the options are presented to him, but he wants to make a good first impression when he meets his online date?
I was asked a series of questions on the subject in relation to the New York Post article, Discount Dating, and as a coupon-cutter myself, have some strong thoughts on dating with discounts. If you follow these rules of netiquette for dating in a web 2.0 world, you’ll be on your way to a second or third date.
1. Should you tell your date if you’re using a discount? Or should you keep the Groupon in your pocket a secret? Why or why not?
If you’re meeting someone for the first time, bragging about your two-for-one discount won’t make you look good. She’ll think your entire courtship will be done on frequent flyer miles. It’s best to just hand the coupon to the server when you place your order. Your date will notice and will appreciate your tact and desire to impress her while staying on a budget.
2. If you do tell your date, when should you let them know? Before the date or during the date?
If your discount-dating offer is for a very specific menu item or activity, you’ll need to share that with your date at the time you sit down to order or meet. There’s no point in saying in advance, “I’d love to have a date with you and I’ll be using a discount coupon.” You’ll run the risk of her turning you down as your frugal ways won’t be filled with sex-appeal.
3. If you feel using discounts on a date is tacky, should you speak up? Or suffer in silence?
There’s nothing wrong with using discounts on a date as long as they aren’t the focus of your conversation. Saying, “Hey baby, do you want to go on a discount date with me?” or “I’ve got this great coupon” won’t impress her if you’re on a first or second date. If you’ve been dating for a while, you should feel comfortable in suggesting an outing that involves a discounted item or Groupon offering. Dating can be expensive and if you’re looking to impress your date, going for more than coffee may result in you getting a second date with the object of your affection.
4. What type of discount is best to use (a discount for an unusual activity like rockclimbing or shooting range lessons — or a more traditional date like 50% off dinner?)
Activity discounts are never looked down upon as cheap. The tricky part is grabbing your discount during a limited time period while hoping that your date will want to go rock climbing or white water rafting. There is something unique about activity dates where a woman will look the other way when the coupon is presented.
5. Is using Groupon OK for a first or second date?
Using Groupon on a first date for dining is just a step above asking someone to split an appetizer when you thought you were meeting for a full meal on your date. It can be awkward with someone you have just met.
You have a split-second to make a bad impression on a first date. I recommend saving the Groupon or deal-of-the-day offer for future dates once you’re more comfortable with each other. The only way Groupon is acceptable on a first date is when you go to a restaurant with a pre-paid purchase towards your meal. If you buy $50 worth of food at a great restaurant for $25 and it goes towards your total meal value, it’s no different than using a gift card that you might have received as a present. It’s best to downplay the use of Groupon or a deal-of-the-day coupon in front of your date early on in the relationship. If you’re worried you might make a bad impression by using Groupon or a deal-of-the day discount, or your deal requires that your date order a specific entrée, save your deal for future dates when you’ve gotten to know her better, or use your offer on your Guys’ Night Out.
6. What about using a Groupon discount for all of your first three or four dates with someone?
Using a Groupon type service on all of your first few dates will backfire on you. She may be the Coupon Queen at the grocery store, but dating a Coupon King just isn’t very sexy. He’ll come across as cheap instead of someone who’s smart about money.
7. Are there different do’s and don’t for men and women regarding these discounts? IS it OK for women to suggest using the discount?
There are so many stereotypes as it relates to dating and digital dating has it’s own set of rules. Women who use coupons are looked upon favorably by men. A guy will think she’ll be considerate about how to spend his money and that dating her won’t break his bank. Unfortunately, the opposite is true as it relates to men. A woman will look at a discount guy as cheap early on in the relationship. It’s best for a man not to suggest a discount on a first or second date. Bragging about his recent Groupon acquisitions just isn’t sexy to a woman.
8. Who should pay (man or woman) if a discount is used? The person who does the asking? The person who finds the coupon? Should it be split if the coupon is giving you 50% off?
Generally, men pay on the first date and most dates with or without a coupon. If the woman has purchased a Groupon or deal-of-the day coupon, it’s her way of offering to pay or at least contribute the value of the coupon towards the meal. Asking to split the cost of the Groupon or coupon is like asking someone to go Dutch treat. It’s a netiquette no-no.
8. Any other do’s and don’ts you advise when it comes to discount dating?
Discount Dating Do’s:
Do let your guy take the lead. If he suggests a discount dating event, feel free to suggest one for a future date.
Do expect to pay for your deal-of-the day or Groupon meal or activity if you purchased it on your own. Asking to be reimbursed is a netiquette no-no.
Do find plays or activities of interest to you and your date using deal-of-the-day or Groupon type specials.
Do downplay your Groupon or discount if it comes up while submitting it to the server. Make your date think she’s worth every moment and every cent.
Discount Dating Don’ts:
Don’t make every date a discount date. Select a restaurant or venue within your budget and vary it up.
Don’t make the subject of discount dating at the top of your list. It goes hand-in-hand with talking about your ex, and that breaks the rules of netiquette for dating.
Don’t take inventory of all of your Groupon purchases while on a date. Even at 50% off, it can add up and you’ll appear to have a spending problem.
Don’t complain to your date that they are cheap if they are using a discount dating offer. Dating can be expensive and if he wants to take you somewhere other than a coffee shop, appreciate his efforts to impress you and act like a lady.
Are you using discount coupons while dating? We’d like to hear your thoughts and comments.
Julie Spira is an online dating, social media, and netiquette expert. She’s the bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Manners on the Web. Follow her on Twitter @JulieSpira. Visit her at CyberDatingExpert.com. Like her at Facebook.com/cyberdatingexpert
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.”
Read the latest book review from Cupid’s Pulse along with my personal interview about The Perils of Cyber-Dating.
More than 40 million singles are dating online. With around 2,500 online dating sites to choose from, how can you navigate your way safely and find love on the Internet? Julie Spira’s tell-all memoir, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, can help. You’ll follow her on her 15-year journey – which included 250 online dates – as she navigated the web in hopes to find an Internet mate to replace someone she thought was the love of her life. Through her romances, heartbreaks, and personal rules of “netiquette,” Spira shares invaluable first-hand knowledge on the best ways to date online.
Online dating has it’s own set of rules. Remember to be safe and savvy when on the web. Cupid caught up with the Spira via e-mail this week. Here’s what the author had to say:
Cupid: You were one of the first people to delve into the world of online dating. Were you scared? What were other people’s reactions?
Julie Spira: At the time I created my first online dating profile in 1994, I wasn’t scared at all. I fully embraced the Internet both personally and professionally. But, since online dating was not mainstream at that point, I told very few people that I was meeting my dates from online dating sites. I told some close friends who I thought could benefit from online dating and helped them with their online dating profiles.
Cupid: What’s different about cyberdating (as compared to traditional dating), and how can people adapt to it?
JS: The main difference between cyberdating and traditional dating is that you are meeting someone that you haven’t met before in real life and you are getting to know them from behind their computer screen. Online dating, Internet dating, and cyberdating are all terms used for those using online dating sites, chat rooms, video dating, and social dating sites. This also includes social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. In order to completely embrace online dating, one needs to be comfortable using their computer. It’s also important to be very organized as you may receive hundreds of emails in the first day or two. I[n] order to be successful, if you create a system that helps keep all of the replies and emails sent, you’ll be able to communicate with your dates with their background information. If you are already using Facebook to communicate with friends, it’s the next logical step.
Cupid: What have you seen change about the online dating world since you started?
JS: When I first started dating online, Match.com hadn’t been launched yet. There were very few sites to pick from. It was a much simpler process without all the Web 2.0 bells and whistles. You weren’t seeing video dating and text messaging wasn’t an option in the U.S.
Cupid: What is your relationship to online dating now?
JS: As an online dating coach, I help singles create their irresistible online dating profiles and work with them to search the best possible matches. I also help them decide which sites to join and teach them how to craft and email introduction and response that will grab the attention of those profiles they select.
Cupid: What are your top 5 netiquette rules for cyberdating?
JS: My Rules of Netiquette from my book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, include:
1. The Google Rule – If you Google your date before you meet them, don’t let them know on the first date. You’d be surprised how some people actually print out the Google results and start questioning their date about specific entries. It’s not appropriate first date material and no one wants to feel like they are on a job interview or under the microscope.
2. The Food and Beverage Rule – If you ask a date out for coffee, be prepared to order a beverage for her and yourself. I have heard stories many times where either someone arrives with their own water, or simply does not order a coffee or tea for their date. You should assume that a coffee date includes a drink, and a dinner date includes some form of food.
3. The Ex Rule – Don’t talk about your ex-wife or husband, ex girlfriend or boyfriend, or spend time talking about the past. You’d be surprised that some talk about their spousal support, or a relationship that didn’t work out on the first date. Keep it light and leave the baggage at home.
4. The Send Button Rule – My mother always says, “If you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.” Too often someone gets mad and drafts an email and pushes the send button. When in doubt, send it to yourself. You might feel differently in the morning. Once you push the send button, you can’t take it back.
5. The Break Up Rule – Never break up with a significant other in an email or a text message. It’s just common courtesy to have a conversation and preferably in person. Do you really want to go down in history as the one who frequently dumps their dates in an email or text? Sure, celebrities are ending relationships in text messages and on Twitter these days. But is it right?
Most importantly, be authentic. Authenticity is really in style now. With over 400 million members on Facebook, it’s easy for someone to see if your photo on your online dating profile does not match the recent birthday or vacation pictures on Facebook. We know that many singles lie about their age in their online dating profiles to fit into a search, but the truth will come out when you meet in real life. You start out on a bad foot if you are lying about your age, weight, and height. Enjoy the process and look at cyberdating as a way to increase your social and business networks in the event it doesn’t turn into a romantic relationship.
Cupid thanks Spira for her time! For more information and dating advice, visit her site, CyberDatingExpert.com.