Are you single and looking to jingle (have a date to future Christmas parties)? Well, then you might spend a lot of time on Facebook stalking potential partners. Obviously, the perks of living in a world where no one of your generation has any sense of privacy or personal safety (I know your last name, place of business, and birth date! This sounds like a great start to steal your identity! Foursquare? Awesome, I was thinking about murdering you tonight, and now I know just where to look!) is you never truly have to go on a blind date- you can always check out the goods beforehand.
Facebook might seem like it’s only useful to check out a potential mate’s appearance and favorite movies–and even then, a lot of people tend to put misleading information and pictures on their page to appear to be a better version of themselves. Though you can never be sure if the strangers/people you meet at a bar/distant acquaintances you stalk on Facebook are cool (ie not murderers or lame-o’s) there are some red flags you can look out for. Take it from me, a Facebook stalking/snap judgement expert.
The 5 Red Flags of Facebook (for Stalkers)
1. Nothing is listed for the “Interested In” category
This could mean: they are gay
Remember, this is just a red flag, not a deal breaker…but if they are gay, that’s probably a dealbreaker (I say ‘probably’ because depending on your age, maybe not. If you’re 50 and single, why not capitalize on the companionship and tax benefits that a last minute gay husband or wife might afford)? I’m just saying, that in my experience, many of the gay people I know left that blank while they were in the closet or while they were one foot out of the closet, but not like, out, out.
It might just mean: They’re straight and didn’t care enough to fill that out or didn’t think it was anyone’s business (HOW DARE THEY, THIS IS THE INTERNET, EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU IS MY BUSINESS).
Proceed with: caution, but don’t count them out. You might not end up with a romantic date to your holiday office party, but you might end up with a nice fake date (or platonic spouse) so you can at least walk in with someone (like I did at my senior prom).
2. The only book they have listed is The Bible.
This could mean: they are stupid
The Bible is a fine choice for your DEAR time (Drop Everything And Read… anyone?), but only if in addition, you have read other books– of your own volition.. Cather in the Rye doesn’t count, I know they made you read that in high school. To someone without my keen eye, they may read “Bible” as a person’s only book choice and see a God-fearing man or woman, that might just be suitable to bring home to the parents after a lengthy courtship with monitored hand-holding sessions (shout out to TLC’s Virgin Diaries cast members!). I see someone who can’t even think of the last 3 books they read to throw up there like the rest of us do.
It might just mean: Uggggh, sorry, I’ve got nothing. My bets are on stupid.
Proceed with: Nothing. Do not proceed in the first place. I mean, unless you’re just looking for a hot dummy to show off for a while, by all means, go for it. But if you’re looking for any kind of legitimate relationship or DNA for your future child, I would say keep looking for someone who cares enough to at the very least, also list the Motley Crue biography and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Just, come on, anything.
Oh, oh! And P.S. If they list “Passion of the Christ” as a favorite movie, RED FLAG, RED FLAG! For totally different reasons, but still… unless you’re into that stuff, redddd flaggggg.
3. Half-Naked Profile Pictures
This could mean: They are full of themselves
This is a tough one to over look. I know those abs look nice, and you’ve got a hamper full of clothes that need washing (amiright, ladies?), but seriously, watch out: this person knows they look good. I think it is important to go through all of their profile pictures and see how many are shirtless or half-naked. If there’s more than one, this is bad news. People who know they’re really hot or think they’re really hot, are not the kind of people you want to date (for more explanation you can read: Unsolicited Dating Advice from Someone with No Qualifications). A healthy sense of self-esteem is great, but no one likes a narcissist (or more importantly a significant other that thinks they can do better than you).
It might just mean: They have low self-esteem and are over compensating. In which case, snatch them up- a hottie with low self-esteem is the Holy Grail!
Proceed with: no expectations. If you’re gonna go for it, know that a low-stakes relationship where you can show them off to ex’s is your smartest option.
4. They post pictures of themselves doing illegal activities
This could mean: Oh man, so many things. A special kind of idiot is definitely high on the list, though.
Some red plastic cups (whether you’re underage or not) is one thing. You in neon clothes and daisies in your hair at a Disco Biscuits concert is one thing. You holding a blunt with smoke coming out of your mouth is ANOTHER thing. So, this is a red flag, but also a rant to all you idiots out there who have 100 pictures of you smoking weed on your Facebook. Look, do what you do on your own time, but… do you want a job some day? I saw on the news that there was a teacher who was FIRED because there was a picture of her holding a BEER in GERMANY at OKTOBERFEST. She was of age and experiencing Europe’s effervescent culture! If she got fired for that, then I’m sure your employer would love to see a picture of you with a 10 foot bong in your hand. I see this trend a LOT with young college girls, and I promise, you are going to wish you didn’t post all that stuff when I print it off, wait patiently for about 18-20 years, and then show it to your 15 year-old children. Bottom line: if they don’t have the sense to keep pictures of themselves doing illegal things off Facebook, RED FLAG.
It might just mean: They are misguided.
Proceed with: Restraint. Wait a few years to ask them out until they are GUIDED.
5. Overuse of quotes for their status
This could mean: They are overly emotional… ie… cah-ray-zyyyy. Also: annoying.
The great thing about quotes is that it gives a little insight into your subject’s psyche. If this girls’ wall is covered in The Notebook quotes, RED FLAG. Sure, I practically think in Taylor Swift lyrics, but am I going to put that kind of whiney stuff up on my wall for everyone to see? No. When it comes to girls, if they’re posting a lot of quotes about princess and unicorn love stories that they hope to one day experience, w-w-watch out. Now for guys, and this is just in my own experience, guys who have a lot of philosophical quotes, are usually an artist of some kind and overly emotional (for more information on the crazy artist see: The 5 Men Every Lady is Entitled to Date).
It might just mean: They just really like quotes. No shame in that.
Proceed with: minimal caution. I’m just planting this seed as a potential “I told you so” for later if things don’t pan out with them.
Other Red Flags:
If they have more than 3 pictures of themselves taken in a bathroom mirror.
If they have pictures of themselves on the toilet.
If anything on their Facebook takes place in a bathroom!!!!