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The impact of social networking on relationships


© COMSTOCK IMAGES  / Jupiterimages
© COMSTOCK IMAGES / Jupiterimages

Imagine after, say, the third date, you've got to know a guy pretty well. He knows what you do for a living, he (hopefully) knows your last name and he's heard some charming anecdotes that show you in a fabulous light. You know, those stories you always tell that make you sound fun and carefree, but not crazy? We all have those. But when you're dating someone new, the amount you share is up to you and that's what makes it exciting. You decide exactly what to tell your date, and you also have a say over how drunk they see you and how pretty you look. After all, you didn't spend two hours getting ready for nothing, did you?

Facebook ruins all that, MySpace messes it up and Twitter puts the final nail in the coffin. Before you've even walked through the restaurant door, your date will think they know who you are. But they don't just know about you, your date will know about your friends, your family, just how drunk you were on your birthday and exactly what you got up to on your best mate's hen night. They see what your friends think about you and well, through no fault of their own, they're judging you.

And it's really not their fault. You let them in. And you're doing the same. It works both ways. Have you ever looked at a guy's profile page on a networking site and sifted through his photos? Or wondered who that pretty girl is and why she's leaving messages all over his wall? You're already wary of someone you've never met! Someone he hasn't mentioned or introduced you to! The very notion of social networking is that we share everything in our lives. It allows us to be more open. So if the guy you're dating isn't sharing something you've read online, it makes you suspicious without any real need to be.


Sian Meades
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