In the increasingly wide world of online dating, one will invariably run into the discussion of social networking and meeting girls on Facebook. For the past few years I have maintained a personal policy to avoid “opening” new girls on Facebook with smalltalk. I have always felt it is awkward, and whilst I have had a few “successful” interactions that have led to dates and more, I still see cold-opening via Facebook to be a poor card to play.
In my search for justification for my beliefs, I went to those whose opinions matter most: the lovely ladies of Facebook. Some of the responses were as expected. Others provided some invaluable insight as to why guys who try to pick up girls on Facebook tend to wind up in the friend zone – or worse.
Don’t get me wrong; keeping communication going via Facebook can be very useful, and it is not inconceivable that you might even stumble into starting a successful romance via social networking. This has happened to me on a couple of occasions, and I have seen my friends make it happen as well. It is no surprise however that each of these instances involved individuals who are brilliant at real-life intersexual communication to begin with.
Turning to Facebook to pick up girls is not something I have ever counted on to produce consistently positive results. So without further ado, let’s look at some data.
Seven Reasons Not To Pick Up Girls on Facebook
If you try to pick girls up on Facebook…
1. You will look like a coward.
To start us off, let’s look at one universal advantage of real-life, in-field approaching. Even if your approach is off, even if you are visibly nervous or awkward, nearly any woman will reject you politely, acknowledging that it does take some courage to initiate a conversation with an attractive woman in real life.
Kit is a student in her early 20s. She recognises that it does not take any guts to chat a girl up over the internet.
“It depends on the guy,” she says. “If you’ve talked after class a few times, its not weird. But if he’s never talked to you in person, it makes him seem like a coward, which is unattractive”.
A girl can take your online advances as evidence that despite all the lines you might use, you do not have the courage to risk rejection and talk to her face-to-face. The worst thing you can do from the perspective of dating strategy is demonstrate a lack of confidence, the opposite of the “alpha male“, which is what many women will take from an online pickup attempt.
2. You will look like a stalker.
How you have come to be in contact with the girl is itself a difficult question to justify, especially among today’s mentality of attention to personal privacy. Sue is an author from northern Holland who was recently added by a man from her area. As she publishes very little personal information on her Facebook page, she saw little harm in accepting his friend request.
“This week was his birthday, his party was today, and he invited me”, she explains “I know he didn’t have too many friends, so I told him I’d come, but then I got sick and cancelled. Somehow he had gotten my number and he kept texting, calling, facebooking, asking if I could please come because everyone had cancelled”.
She was understandably disturbed by the fact that he had obtained her contact information without her having given it to him. “If they’re gonna do that, then that’s scary. Seriously, that freaked me out a little”.
When you are dealing with people whom you have not met, or even people with whom you have spoken briefly but never established a solid connection, it is easy to elicit this sort of reaction, even if you have not necessarily gone to any elaborate lengths to get into contact with the girl. This is another reason why Facebook is not the place to try to hit on girls you don’t know.
3. She will question your motives.
Whenever you start talking to a stranger, it helps to have a justification for doing so.
In cold approach this is called the “root” of the opener, and it helps to address and thus prevent the awkward “why are you asking me this?” response. This same response must be considered in online communication, but it is much more difficult to read the situation and communicate smoothly and effectively when all you represent is text from a stranger, which is always the starting point when attempting to pick up girls on Facebook.
Anna is an Austrian who studied in the United States and is now in postgraduate studies in Norway. She has a more skeptical perspective on the matter.
“I think the reason it would creep me out is that there is so much that cannot be conveyed through chatting, and I would be left in the dark of his motives, while face to face you would have at least a face to read.” Whereas an indirect opener with too direct projection of intent can leave a girl asking “what does he really want with me?”, Anna seems to imply that this feeling is also strong in internet communication.
4. Facebook is for friends.
Another very logical and simple explanation for the opposition to Facebook pickup: Facebook is for friends.
“I guess you know they have been looking for you on the internet and don’t just talk to you in person”, Kass explains. She references the common get-to-know-you smalltalk as something that does not belong on social networking. “Facebook is for friends, and if you aren’t friends, he should be figuring those things out in person”.
This is particularly relevant for those lads who try to add a girl without ever having met her in real life. Yes, common ground such as “mutual friends” is something to work on, but this is always better done in person rather than through seemingly random Facebook chat requests.
5. You are probably wasting her time.
Let’s face it, sending a cold message on Facebook is a low-percentage play to begin with.
Ignoring momentarily what girls think or feel when receiving messages or chat requests from people they don’t know, we can look simply at the fact that many girls will simply ignore chat attempts from individuals with whom they are unfamiliar, making the stress and preoccupation with formulating the perfect Facebook chat up line utterly futile.
“I’m not sure I’d find it weird, but I’d probably blow it off unless it was someone I had had interest in,” remarks Silja, a young woman in her mid-20s. “If its someone I don’t know and don’t think I’d care to know, I don’t think I’d want to waste my time coming up with a response”. Silja recognises that her reaction may seem cold, and whilst she acknowledges that there were in fact a couple of instances in which a young man had successfully asked her out, they were both occasions whereby individuals whom she had previously known were smooth in reinitiating communication after a number of years.
This brings up a point that seems to be misunderstood by many men; I know it was lost on me for the longest time. If a girl does not respond to your Facebook chat attempt, continuing to reinitiate is not the answer. In fact, this is one surefire way to demonstrate that you are unable to take the hint, which is the last thing you want. Accept that you have been blown off and move on to more girls, rather than pestering her for a response.
And girls talk about this stuff.
6. It is predictable.
One largely overlooked aspect of Facebook flirting is the fact that it is extremely common.
It is actually in no way out of the ordinary for a girl to be messaged by guys she has met in passing, or even those whom she has hardly spoken to at all. I have observed this from the perspective of the individual whose girlfriend is on the receiving end of these online advances. Eventually, most girls will pick up on your intentions straight away, and they will know what you’re going for. It’s not necessarily that you project a certain desired outcome, but rather that they have been contacted in the same way by heaps of guys just like you before.
“It’s just predictable,” explains Katie, a young woman from the US-American Southeast. “Not so much what they say, but what their goal is. Perhaps there are some that just are interested in you as an individual, but typically they think you’re hot and are trying to figure out their chances”.
It is a standard principle of dating and pickup that one must distinguish himself from the others as a high-value male in some form. There is not much more that one can do to lower his own value than to be the same as all the other lame guys trying to pick up a girl on Facebook.
7. It is creepy.
Finally, turning to the keyboard to pick up girls on Facebok is just plain creepy. “If I don’t know the guy but he adds me and talks to me as though he knew me, that would just be weird,” states Lynn. “If you’ve never talked to them, how do they know your name? That’s creepy. And that sort of reputation gets around”.
This reminds me of a lesson I learnt the hard way back when I was younger: if you get a girl’s number, send her a text message, and receive “who is this?” as a response, you have already done something wrong. Similarly, before you start trying to chat with a girl on Facebook without a real and legitimate reason to be initiating the chat in the first place, consider this sentiment and ask yourself whether you want to run the risk of being seen as the “creeper” that Lynn thinks of.
So there it is. How eager are you to pick up girls on Facebook now? Do you still think it is worth it? Successes/failures? Why or why not?
Males and females alike, leave your comments below.