Hooking up in a digital age

25 Jan

The day or so after a hook up, the Yale woman in question might want to friend you on Facebook. And it’s probably a good idea to accept that friend request (unless something terrible happened, in which case she probably won’t send you a friend request anyway). You can also friend her – it doesn’t matter too much who sends the friend request, and it paves the way for hooking up again. However, if you send the friend request the moment that she shuts the door behind her, you’re going to look a bit creepy, so just give it a bit of time (A couple of hours. A couple of days looks like you don’t care at all). If this is someone who you will see again – she’s in your section, she works in your lab, she lives in your college – it’s probably a good idea to at the very least friend her. A Facebook friendship is an acknowledgement that something happened, and might alleviate possible awkwardness when you run into each other in the future. This is Yale – you’re always running into some one, even if you think it’s some one you’re never going to see again.

If you haven’t done so already, this might be time to go back through your Facebook get rid of those photos from that fifth grade play where you were dressed up as King Lear, complete with long hair, acne, and braces. You may think that you look adorable, but really, Elizabethan ruffles and lace aren’t your thing (they just don’t match your eyes). Fifth grade was a long time ago and you probably don’t want anyone looking at those photos anyway. There is a very high likelihood (like 99%) that she will look through a good number of your photos, and you especially don’t want her coming across that one of you cross-dressing.When her friends ask her what you look like, they’re going to see those photos of you too and those images will be the first thing they think of if/when they meet you. You might also want to take a look at your wall/timeline/whatever it’s called these days to make sure that there is nothing terribly embarrassing (this is a good idea in general so that when your boss adds you, his first thought isn’t that you should be fired). Timeline just made your life harder, because all those less-than-adorable-fifth-grade-play moments are now easy to find. Now that you’ve fixed your digital reputation – which was a worthwhile endeavor anyway – you can rest easy that you can keep those memories for a later time when it seems appropriate to share them. If you don’t have a Facebook, you don’t really have to worry about any of this stuff, congratulations.

Once you are friends (on Facebook), you will probably want to look through her pictures, which is perfectly allowable and expected. However, it is probably NOT a good idea to reveal to her at any point that you’ve been Facebook-stalking her. Saying things like, “So I was looking at your pictures of your time in the Balkans…” or “You went to the Renaissance fair in 2008 too?!” or “Are/were you dating that guy who’s in all of your profile pictures?” can come off as eerie and abnormal. It’s best to allow the Yale women in question to reveal these facts about herself to you of her own accord, and you can pretend that you had no idea that she got to feed an elephant that time that she was in India in 2010.

Facebook is a useful tool for getting a better sense of a person, but remember, not only are you looking at her profile, but she’s probably looking at yours. Don’t assume too much from what you see, because she, like you, may be hiding that time she played the part of Desdemona.

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