By Dawn Papandrea
You’ve made a connection with a potential Intro, and made plans to meet up tonight. So what’s the first thing you do between now and then? Check him out on social media, of course. Googling is good, too, but you can learn an awful lot about a person by seeing the types of posts, photos, and online socializing he’s involved in. Here’s a guide to what you can learn about your future date on Facebook and beyond…
He’s Mr. Squeaky Clean. All of his Facebook photos — a good percentage of which involve family holiday pictures and him volunteering at company charity events — have him fully clothed and without a red plastic cup in sight! His LinkedIn profile features glowing references about his punctuality, reliability, and team player qualities. Either he recently cleaned up his act to impress an employer (or a woman), of you’re about to meet a wholesome, responsible (but maybe slightly boring) guy.
He’s trapped in a time warp. If he’s constantly posting about high school reunions, being tagged in pictures from his college varsity team days, or obsessively “likes” and follows one too many 90s grunge bands, you might be dating a throwback. Sure, it’s great to use social media to reconnect and reminisce, but just be careful that he’s not doing so at the expense of living in the moment. On that note, beware of ex-girlfriends who may still be in touch.
He’s a slacker. The economy isn’t doing so great, so it’s not necessarily a deal breaker if a guy is going through a financial struggle. We’ve all been there! But… if it seems like he spends all day posting his amazing Words with Friends scores on Facebook, participating in Twitter chats about fantasy football, or has a lot of noticeable employment gaps on his LinkedIn, perhaps you would be wise to proceed with caution. You don’t want to end up supporting a social media junkie.
He’s a bad boy. You might very well be into that, we get it, but if you notice any of the following, you may be in over your head: His Facebook page “likes” include Hooters, “Jersey Shore,” and the Dallas Cowgirls; he uses a lot of profanity on Twitter; and his profile photo is the cliched shirtless-in-the-bathroom-mirror-taken-with-his-phone one.
He’s a sports fanatic. If every other post or tweet is an argument about who’s the best closer in baseball, why professional wrestling is so awesome, or a link out to a sports podcast, and his cover photo is covered in NY Yankee pinstripes, you might be spending a lot of nights hanging out in sports bars. Or worse — you could be sitting down to a nice dinner with a compulsive score checker! If you share his love of the game, though, it could be a win-win.
Beyond helping identify a specific “type” of guy, don’t forget to look for the obvious when doing your social media research. Make sure he’s not “in a relationship” or going through something that’s “complicated,” for starters. And trust your gut if you see anything that offends you, whether it’s hateful ranting or a tasteless joke at someone’s expense. Once he passes the basic social media inspection, then you can move forward and get to know the real person, and hopefully, you’ll “like” him.