I’m nuts about a man who goes to my gym. We’ve spoken several times, and now we’re friends on Facebook. He even “liked” some of my photos! However, now that we’re connected online, I’m kind of obsessed. I find myself pouring over his social profiles. Am I a stalker? How can I use social media to get him to ask me out?
— Snoopy Rochelle in Los Angeles
Dear Snoopy Rochelle,
Oh boy, I have a bone to pick with social media! Here’s the thing: social media is supposed to be an entertainment tool. It’s supposed to be a platform to keep us connected since we all live such busy lives these days.
It’s supposed to be like the gravy on the meal, but people are getting confused and starting to think of it as the steak.
Social media is not the steak. Face to face is the steak, and social media is the gravy. If you eat too much gravy, you’ll be sick and that’s what people do. They spend all this time swiping, liking and retweeting, and they make themselves sick!
We all do the Facebook stalker thing when we first start dating. I won’t say that you shouldn’t do it because you can learn some good stuff about people, but it’s important to limit the time you spend investigating someone’s online profile. Otherwise, we start to infer things. We think, “Oh, he liked that post, what does that mean? Oh! He’s leaning on that girl, what does that mean?”
Liking someone’s post is NOT flirting! Talking to someone in person can be flirting. Smiling at them, playfully joking with them and laughing with them can be flirting. But interacting with someone via a tiny “thumbs up” icon on an electronic device is NOT flirting.
It’s important to talk to someone and get to know them rather than make assumptions about who they are based on their Facebook status.
So, Rochelle, the first step is to cultivate an in-person relationship with this man. Don’t let yourself fall into the temptation of becoming enamored with his profile find out who he really is! The only way to truly know if this man is someone you would like to date is to speak to him, face to face, in person.
Remember, social media and relationships are not related. They are two separate things. You will never have a relationship from social media – that’s like having a robot and saying, “We’re in love.”
The good news is, you get to create exactly what you want with these social platforms. What do you wish your lifestyle to be around social media? Do you want to check Facebook three times a day, or three times a week? You choose, and you get to choose which tidbits of information you share with the world as well.
Rochelle, you’re right on track. Go to the gym and give your man a big smile that’ll get you much farther than checking his Instagram profile every ten minutes!
Have you ever found yourself obsessing over social media? How do you take action to nurture and cultivate in-person relationships instead?
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