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Recently I read an eHarmony advice article titled “The Ten Biggest Facebook Faux Pas.” Before I even read it, I was positive I could name every single item on the list, because I cringe daily seeing what people — even my friends — do on Facebook. It’s like they lose all sense of normal human behavior, healthy social interaction, and just plain safety, and let themselves run wild and crazy. From afar it’s hilarious. From up close, it’s sad… and sometimes scary.

The eHarmony article listed the following as “The Ten Biggest Facebook Faux Pas.”

      1. Accepting everyone as your Facebook friend.
      2. Poking.
      3. Having zero privacy settings enabled.
      4. Flooding your network with status updates.
      5. Venting and oversharing.
      6. Neglecting to engage others.
      7. Constantly changing your relationship status.
      8. Posting embarrassing photos of others.
      9. Complaining about employers, co-workers, family or professors.
      10. Breaking up with someone over Facebook.

Facebook stalking t-shirtI’ve seen all of these in action with my own eyes, and I’ve turned away from the screen too many times to count. But what gets me about this list — written by eHarmony staff — is that it doesn’t really address any dating-specific Facebook faux pas. Because let me tell you: There are many, many of them! So, I’ll just have to grab the torch from Neil Clark Warren’s grandpa matchmaker hands and run the last lap here.

Before I get into the list of no-nos, let me start by making an announcement: Daters! You are really creepy on Facebook!

Great. Now that that’s outta the way, let’s dive right in. (Can you tell I have the amazing reality-show-train-wreck Splash on in the background as I type? Yes, I just watched Louie Anderson fall off a diving board.)

1. Don’t Facebook stalk your date before you meet. Spending hours researching every last detail of your love interest’s life is the stuff stalker thrillers are made of. Let your first date or your initial phone chats be where you get to know one another — from the other person’s mouth. You’ll have plenty of time later to check out their Facebook timelines and photo albums.

2. Don’t ask someone out on Facebook. Ugh. No, wait… double ugh! This is really not cool. It’s one thing to reach out to someone on Facebook to meet them in general. It’s a good way to break the ice and to break into their social circle. But to ask them out? It’s just plain tacky. Same rules apply to email and text. It’s best to keep the asking out to an on-the-phone or face-to-face activity. Respect.

3. Don’t over-flatter someone on their wall. That wall is a tricky place because, well, it’s public! When you choose that place to leave little compliments or sweet nothings, it will immediately make that person uncomfortable. Their friends will start asking questions. Defensive walls will be raised and you will quickly lose any chance at ever being with that person. If you’re officially dating or even married, leave a comment here and there. But try to say it where it counts — when you’re alone with that person. Let them know you mean it.

4. Don’t like every one of their photos.Β This one seems obvious. It’s so annoying… and super creepy because it proves you’ve looked at every single one of their pictures. Major stalker points earned here, so steer clear!

Liking Facebook photos

5. Don’t private message someone too much. Facebook private messaging does not equal email or text. If someone hasn’t given you their email, don’t email them. If they haven’t responded to your private message, don’t send another one… and another one… and another one. Get the hint. It’s a private message for a reason. Let it go.

6. Don’t friend a stranger in hopes of hooking up. This is wrong on so many levels. If you have a mutual friend, there are other ways to meet this person. If you don’t have mutual friends, you are literally picking this person out of a lineup. Facebook is not eHarmony. Facebook is not Match.com. Facebook is not a dating service. Get it straight! Do not go there.

I’m not anti-Facebook. But I’m pro-Lifebook.Β And that goes for dating, too, where I hope we can experience it in its entirely — in real life. It may be a little harder at the beginning, but it really does pay off in the end. Plus, you’re less likely to end up in jail.

Have you got any Facebook dating faux pas to add to the list?

~Ruth

P.S. I’m rooting for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Splash. What a sweet, sweet man!

P.P.S. Dangit! Sucked in again!!!