We’ve all heard that employers may be cyber vetting-
Online vetting, also known as cyber-vetting is increasingly being used by potential employers and other acquaintances to vet people’s online presence or “internet reputation” (“netrep“) on social network services such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Bebo, and LinkedIn. Employers may check profiles, posts, and photographs for indications that the candidate is unsuitable.
But what about in dating? A CNN poll this week reported that something like 85% of daters had googled or cybe-researched a potential date or someone they met.
OF COURSE! We want to know what kind of information is out there about the person before we get into a relationship (or even go on a date in some cases) with them, especially if it is someone we’ve met online. Do they have a Facebook page? Do they tweet? What are they tweeting? Who are their friends?
Just like employers and potential employers do with cyber vetting, it is wise to search out clues to whom this person is by getting to know their online ‘personality.’ What is their ‘social capital’ – their reputation, relationships with other? This means not only looking at them, but who they are ‘friends’ with as well. Do you see a lot of red cups? You know, the red cup issue, don’t you? If an employer sees a potential candidate for a position on Facebook holding red cups, it is assumed that he/she is a drinker. No matter what is IN the red cup, you automatically think alcohol when you see it.
What kind of photos do they have? You should watch out for ‘tagged’ images of flyers and promotions that others ‘tag’ you in to make it appear on your page. A lot of those and you might look a certain way that does not really reflect who you are.
Are you (or they) saying anything? Not only do you have to watch what you say, if you aren’t saying much, you might come off as boring and uninteresting. If he is only commenting or tweeting sports, does he have a one-track mind? Is that all he likes? Will your entire relationship about him going to or watching sports? If you like that, great. If not, keep looking.
Are all his Facebook friends sleazy looking females? That makes him come off looking like a Mack.
Is her page all about fashion and makeup? Is she shallow or obsessed with beauty?
I’m simply pointing out that your “cyber image” is important and what is more important is that YOU control it and make sure it reflects how you want it to look.
And yes, google your potential dates. They have probably googled you!