Social Media Guidelines for Dating

Social Networks
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Most of us are at least familiar with social media like Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, and the like. Many of us have accounts and check them on a regular basis. Some of us keep privacy settings high while others put themselves out there to gain a larger client and networking base. Some feel compelled to post constantly - where they are going for dinner or what they just said to a work colleague, while others prefer to post only occasionally with meaningful advice or news.

We all perceive social media in different ways and use it for different reasons. This is why it can get tricky when you incorporate dating into your virtual mix.

Obviously, there are a lot of opportunities for connecting with other singles over social media. But reaching out to people virtually comes with risk. How do you feel about potential dates - and strangers - knowing so much about you through Facebook or Twitter before you even meet face to face?

Following are a few basic guidelines to remember when dealing with social media and dating:

Don't be afraid to connect. There are many dating tools that utilize the power of Facebook to connect you with people in your social circles that you don't necessarily know. Check out CoffeeMeetsBagel or TheDatable if you want to promote your other single Facebook friends in the dating pool. These apps are selective about the information shared, limited to your likes and profile photos.

Know your privacy settings. You don't have to make your social media posts public to everyone. It's important to know your privacy settings, especially on Facebook or Google+ where you can customize by post or picture. It's good to be aware of how you present yourself online to people who don't know anything about you. This goes not only for dating, but also for your career.

Don't post rants about your dates. Think about it - if you were interested in someone, friended him on Facebook, and then saw posts about how terrible his last five dates were, you might reconsider asking him out. Try not to scare off potential dates by making them think you'll write about them, too. Keep your dating life discussions limited to in-person gatherings with your friends.

Exchange numbers first. While it might seem easier to connect on Facebook and drop a casual message to someone you just met at a party, it's better to exchange phone numbers. When you let someone into your Facebook world too soon, they have access to all kind of information - your exes, where you went to school, those party pics from last weekend. People often draw inaccurate conclusions quickly. Instead, keep a little mystery and send a text instead. Friend him later.