10 Online Dating Etiquette Tips From The Emily Post Institute
Never underestimate the value of Emily Post’s Etiquette—even when it comes to online dating!
According to a new survey from Intel, nine out of 10 U.S. adults feel that others divulge too much information about themselves online, and 88 percent said they wish people “thought more about how others will perceive them when sharing information online.” However, the same survey found that 33 percent of people are more comfortable sharing information online than off. So what’s appropriate when it comes to divulging information in your online dating profile and via social media? In our exclusive interview with Anna Post, the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, and a co-author of Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th Edition, she told us some “golden rules” to keep in mind when online dating and when using social media in general. Perfect timing, since it’s National Etiquette Week!
1. Be authentic and genuine. “Be truthful,” said Post. “Your online self needs to match your in-real-life self.” After all, you have real-life relationships with many of the people you’re “friends” with online.
2. Keep it neutral. Four out of 10 people typically don’t associate with people with whose opinions they disagree online, according to the Intel survey, so when it comes to politics, try to keep the language neutral on Facebook and Twitter — unless you are so convicted that you would make the same statement in front of a crowded auditorium.
3. Be consistent across social media. While your professional persona may live on LinkedIn, and your casual self resides on Facebook, don’t play Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde with social media platforms. You may play up different parts of your personality in different places, but make sure it all sounds like one person. People can’t say, “I feel like I don’t know this person,” said Post. “That’s where you end up with trust issues.”
4. Keep online-dating emails to a minimum. When you first meet someone through an online dating website, you want to exchange a few emails before you meet them in person — say two to five. But the idea is to meet in person, not be an online pen pal, so get out there and go on a date.
5. Look for common interests. When getting to know each other in those first few emails, you want to give your best impression of yourself. Don’t make too many comments about physical appearance, especially ones that may be perceived as too intimate. And don’t talk about politics too much right away. Instead, look for common connections, which are usually positive and not divisive, such as activities you can do together when you do meet. Keep the tone positive or neutral, at least until you understand each others’ sarcasm and humor.
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