Modern love and social networking

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There are many advantages to being on social networking sites. We can keep in touch with friends and family who live far away and share photos and important bits of news with many people at the same time. As most people have some kind of social networking membership these days it has become common practice for employers, dates or other interested parties to Google the name of whoever they are interested in and then go onto their personal pages to find out more about them. Here are some useful tips to make sure you look after your personal details, privacy and reputation whilst also getting the best out of these sites.

Edit your privacy settings

This is the first and most important thing you can do to make sure that your personal information isn’t accessible to the general public. Set the security settings on your profile to ‘Only my friends’. By doing this, you will be able to have some control over who has access to your information and pictures. For certain pictures and status updates, you can also select certain friends that you want to deny access. Bear in mind that even though you have said only your friends can see something this does not stop their friends from being able to see it too and all photos can easily be downloaded from the site.

Don’t post anything that you may be embarrassed about later

The very best thing you can do for yourself is to not post anything that you may regret later, whether that is drunken photos or unkind comments. If anyone posts anything about you that you are unhappy with de-tag yourself so that your friends won’t see the post. This includes status updates, tweets, videos on YouTube or any other content you might post because it seems like fun at the time because you have had a couple of glasses of wine or because someone has hurt your feelings and you want to get even.

Don’t invite a date to be friends with you until after 6 dates

When you first meet someone it is natural to want to know more about them and to let them know more about you. As tempting as it maybe we strongly suggest you hold back on inviting them to be a friend on a social network site until you have had at least six dates. It takes this long to really get the measure of someone and to know whether you want to take it further with them.

Inviting them to view your profile is moving the relationship onto a different level, just as important as letting them into your home or introducing them to your kids – it is not a step that should be taken with everyone you have a date with.

When you feel that the time has come to make that important step it is a good idea to sit together and look through your photos just as you would have done with a photo album in the past that way you can explain who is who and their relationship to you. Used as a way of getting to know each other while you are together it is a brilliant tool because a lot of information about you – musical tastes, holidays you’ve had, hobbies and interests, pictures of loved ones etc – are all in one place.

Don’t conduct your relationship online for the entire world to see

Once you have made this important move together be really careful about what you post about the relationship and the things you do together. Not everyone wants the world to know they are a great kisser or that they forgot to buy you flowers on Valentine’s Day. A good rule of thumb is to keep your status updates, tweets and blogs about you, not anyone else. If you are feeling loved up, and want all your friends and family to know, that is your business, but be mindful of saying things that can easily be misread particularly at the beginning of a relationship when you are still getting to know each other.

Keep your content light

If you want to write about the inner workings of your mind and heart we suggest you write them in a diary rather than on a public forum. Whenever you are communicating online whether through instant messaging, email or text bear in mind that words on their own cannot convey how you are feeling and what you want. We suggest you keep the whole virtual side of your relationship light and fun as well as any part of your life that is going to be on public display.



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