You meet a cute girl in a bar. You come home. What do you do? Chances are, you’re going to go stalk her on Facebook. Admit it. You type in her name, and look through her pictures. You then decide if you want to call her. You decide if she’s worth your time.
Facebook still matters.
As a former Facebook employee, I’m a bit biased, but many people don’t realize the effect their Facebook presence has on their dating life. I hear people say that Instagram (which is, lest we forget, owned by Facebook) is cooler, and that’s where they spend their time. That Snapchat is where it’s at. Or that they don’t care about what they look like online because they are outgoing enough to meet lots of great singles in person. And those things might be true. But I promise you, people are still looking at your Facebook page when they are deciding whether or not to date you.
51% of singles research their dates on Facebook. This study calls it “researching,” I call it “cross-referencing,” but let’s call a spade a spade. People Facebook stalk their dates. Don’t believe me? Check out singlesinamerica.com
Facebook is like the search engine for dating. Sure, you might Google someone you meet, but you go to Facebook to see photos, to see what they are interested in, or if you have any mutual friends. It’s like getting someone’s dating credentials, and it’s totally anonymous.
So why are you neglecting your Facebook page? Are your photos terrible? Is your last public post one line in 2012 about your dog? Does your page say anything about who you are? Are you just not putting your best foot forward?
Now that you know you’re being Facebook stalked, don’t be afraid of it by hiding your photos and making yourself invisible. That would be a waste. Use it as an opportunity! Here are a few steps you can take to make sure your potential dates are seeing the best you possible. Ok, ok, the best INTERNET version of you.
See What They See
On Facebook, your friends see your full profile. But the object of your affection may be too shy to friend you, and for good reason! Because friending you would be tantamount to admitting she was stalking you. So you have to ensure your public profile is equally up to par.
To check out how you look to others, just go to your Privacy settings (there’s a privacy shortcuts icon in the top right on desktop, and at the bottom of your settings on mobile) and go to “What do other people see on my timeline?” You can “View As” a friend, your mom, or even the woman you just met at the bar. Knowing what they have access to is important, so you can control is better. Again, this is an opportunity to show them the good stuff, so don’t hide – get your best self out there!
Pick Your Photos Like Your Online Dating Photos
Nothing frustrates me more than when I’m doing research on a potential match, I check out their Facebook page, and they don’t have good photos. Often, if we’re not friends, the only visible photos are profile pictures from college, and they are awful. Your public Facebook page should have recent, flattering pictures of you. Like your online dating photos, choose images that tell a story about who you are. Your main profile photo should be clear and close-up, and I should know who you are right away. You should be sure to have a full-body shot, because 100% of men will look for this to see your body type. Your other photos should depict your interests – you with your dog, you rock climbing, you at your sister’s wedding – those are all ok things to share publicly, and good photos can make you look like a rockstar.
Don’t Hide Everything on Instagram – Cultivate Your Persona
Whether or not you’re super active on Facebook, I’m sure you’ve shared articles, posted about politics, or gone on some sort of diatribe sometime in the past five years. What you post shapes other people’s opinions of you – it’s an extension of your personal brand – so don’t take lightly what you put out there. If you’re into animal rescue, don’t be afraid to make that public – it’s actually a charming thing for a potential date to see. Use your interests to your advantage. Many of my friends exclusively post their photos on Instagram now, and I get that. I tend to post photos I don’t want my mom to see there (sorry Mom!). But by not having your most recent, most flattering photos on Facebook as well, you’re just eliminating potential date options. It’s way harder to find people on Instagram if you don’t know their user names, but trust me, they’ll find you on Facebook.
Facebook might seem like just a tool for organizing your high school reunion, but it’s really a secret weapon when it comes to dating. Check out my Facebook page for an example of how to “wow” them, and just remember: poking still exists, if you can find it.