If you’re going to deny that one of the first things you do when you find out the last name of someone have a date with is look him or her up on Facebook, then you’re a liar.
And that’s not a bad thing. A little background research never hurt anyone. Going into a first date without any knowledge of the person would be like going into a test without studying. There’s nothing wrong with a little homework.
Though you can’t always judge someone by the information posted on Facebook, it can provide telling insights.
Whether you have full access to the profile or just a limited view, we have a few tips that will help prevent you from writing him off too soon (or, not soon enough), and also stop you from major embarrassments.
Do: Check out his or her musical, movie tastes and interest out of genuine curiosity.
Don’t: Mention that you love one of the bands listed if you have never heard of them or listened to any of their songs. At least YouTube the band first if you’re going to bring it up.
Do: If they’re visible to you, look at photos, anything you can get your eyes on. Tip: If they are tagged in an album one of their friends put up, check out the friends’ album for more photos. Chances are your date untagged anything unflattering, inappropriate, or otherwise incriminating. Briefly.
Don’t: Overdo it. If you see him posed with another girl you think looks more-than-friendly (read: they’re all over each other) go ahead and check out her profile, but that’s it. No need to stalk her friends yet, or worse, Google her. You don’t want to indulge your crazy side until you’re legit dating for at least months.
Do: View his or her networks.
Don’t: Judge them for it. Just because he graduated from MIT doesn’t mean he’s a keeper (though, maybe it means he won’t need you to throw in for halfsies at dinner).
Do: Read any captions underneath photos, wall posts, and so on to get a sense of personality.
Don’t: Make too many assumptions. So what if he posted a photo of himself drinking a mixed drink with the caption “Me n my g &t”. You want to think “Gross, party boy, not my type, he’s going to be dumb and shallow.” Not always true. Unless it is.
Do: Judge him by his profile picture. This is the face of his Facebook page. This is the photo he chose to reflect himself. If eyes are the window to the soul, than this photo is the window into his whole Facebook persona. It could be telling.
Don’t: Worry if he posted a photo of himself as a baby, or a picture of his dog. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s ugly.
Readers, how have you researched people on Facebook?