With reportedly 70% of same-sex couples meeting online these days, and the ubiquity of social media, chances are quite good that your potential partners will be looking you up on Facebook, Instagram and other social networks, and doing Google searches of your name.
If you think it’s creepy or out of bounds to poke around in the internet looking for intelligence on a dating prospect, you’re in a rapidly shrinking minority. In fact some gay daters find it useful to “friend” potential partners, giving them a peek at your “real” life, or a least what passes for reality on social networks.
The plus side of allowing your prospective dates to see your social media profile, is they’ll get a better chance to see you as a more rounded person with interests, friends, and hobbies. If you’re like most online daters, they’ll likely get to see what you look like in more candid and natural settings, rather than your “best” photos that you use for your dating profile. This also works in your favor as you’ll get to see the rest of them as well.
With that in mind, you need to consider what your social media accounts looks like. If they’re loaded up with incessant selfies, you’re going to look like a narcissist. if you’re constantly tagged in photos with a drink in your hand, with comments from friends about how drunk you always are, you’re going to be tagged as a drinker. It’s common sense. Like it or not your online persona is going to be seen, and it’s up to you whether it’s “on message” with what you want to portray.
Clever users can find you with a surprisingly small amount of information. If you’re in a small enough town, or have an unusual enough name, simply having a first name and a location is more than enough to figure out who you are.
You can adjust your privacy settings and edit your wall, remove photo tags and the like to modify what the curious will find, but it’s probably better to post with the fact that you’re adding to your proverbial permanent record every time you post. Googling your own name can give you an idea of what potential partners will see when, not if, they do their research on you. If the biggest mistake you’ve ever made in your life is the number one hit when you google yourself, there are reputation rehabilitation services that might be able to help.
Now if you’re on a hookup site like Discreet Gay Dating where all your partner is interested in is an NSA good time, that’s one thing. But if you’re in the market for a relationship on a dating site like Gay Friend Finder, be assured that your partners will be doing their research. Best you know beforehand what they’ll find!