Did you meet a potential someone this weekend? Excellent news! But here's the question: would you date them if they weren't on Facebook? Charlotte Sidwick debates romance with a new Mr Right when you can't look at pictures of their ex-girlfriend...
Picture yourself on a night out with friends, sipping cocktails and throwing serious shapes on the dance floor. You're having an amazing night anyway, so you can't believe your luck when a gorgeous man appears and starts chatting to you. After a few more tipples you happily agree to see him again.
Nursing a hangover the next morning, you type his name into Facebook, but the dude you met last night doesn't pop up. You try again – there must be some mistake – but still, nothing. Until you remember him saying he doesn't do social networking sites. Ah. Lovable technophile or weirdo?
So here's the question: would you date someone who isn't on Facebook, or more importantly should you?
On average 31 million people in the UK update their Facebook profile on a regular basis. We upload pictures of everything. We tell our hundreds – even thousands – of friends where we are, what we think and who we're with. If a potential boyfriend doesn't document his movements online, technically he is the odd one out. Facebook suggests transparency, being offline draws suspicion.
So he says he just uses a Twitter account? This is even stranger. He constantly updates his thoughts throughout the day in 140 characters visible for everyone to see, yet he refrains from informing real friends on a private Facebook account – it doesn't make sense.
In a flash poll of single girls in their early twenties, everyone said they would be strongly against dating someone who wasn't on the social networking site. Many simply thought it was abnormal but a few worried for their safety wondering whether the nice new man would be exactly who he says he is.
When it comes to dating, social networking sites have their pros and cons. If he is on Facebook, you can discover mutual friends, interests and show your friends who you met last night. Helpful, as no one wants to unwittingly go where a girlfriend has been before.
But equally, it's access to his past before you've even got a present. Ex-girlfriend pictures, embarrassing rugby night out shots and drunken posts that can be unfairly off-putting. Abstaining from Facebook means no discussion about "relationship status" and getting to know each other the old fashioned face-to-face way.
In addition, "Big Brother" culture is becoming increasingly overwhelming, suggesting the decision to sacrifice Facebook and preserve any remaining privacy should be embraced not queried. Perhaps the hypothetical not-on-Facebook boy is more enlightened than us, the 31 million using majority.
So what would you do? Give tradition a chance or question how real someone can be without online proof to back him up? Hard to decide, isn't it?
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