I am currently taking a stab at online dating. A few guys I know have popped up in my list of matches, including my current FWB. I'm not really interested in dating any of these guys, but I kind of want to acknowledge their presence as fellow single people looking for love on the internet. A virtual, dating website head-nod, if you will. I guess my question is, is there an etiquette for acknowledging someone's presence via dating website without giving the impression that I am interested in them? Or should I just leave it alone?
Whoa! You have a very evolved attitude about this phenomenon, I think. Don't you know you're supposed to have heart palpitations and fevers and waking nightmares over seeing someone you recognize on OkCupid? Don't you know you're supposed to press the "hide" button and then get up to rock anxiously back and forth between feet, and then come back and try to press "hide" again, because you can never quite buy that you're REALLY hidden? Are you trying to tell me there aren't food establishments you refuse to patronize (even though you love them) because you KNOW, in every organ you have, that someone from your high school will be there? How did you get to this place? Tell me The Way.
It's sincerely very cool that YOU are so cool about seeing guys you know on your dating site of choice, and in your case there doesn't seem to be any reason to "hide." But still, I'm just not sure there's a super great reason for you to NOT let yourself go unnoticed, either. It's nice to greet people, but the context matters, and even if you (because you are better than the rest of us) are not uncomfortable seeing these people there, some of the guys in question might be. Sending them a message just to say "hi, how are you, I'm not actually interested in dating you but just wanted to be like, 'sup, this is internet dating huh,'" is kind of …pointless, I think? Like NICE, but pointless. And the amount of explaining you'd have to do to make it clear that you're saying hi but NOT IN A FLIRTY WAY just makes it more of an ordeal than it needs to be. If they're good friends, you can always joke about it later in person. If they aren't good friends, just let it go.
That, however, is only what I'd advise for the non-FWB. The best would be if you're on Match, because then you could "wink" at him, which is incredibly cheesy but also probably the best option to hit that semi-complex "how do I greet the guy I'm sleeping with on the dating site we're both using to meet other people" note. If you're on OkCupid, rate him a 4, just because. He won't know if it was a 4 or a 5, but you will.
If someone asks you a question on a Facebook status and you forget to respond but then remember weeks later, should go back to that status to respond, or just let it go?
Sometimes I think this column is helping people and sometimes I think it is making them worse. Am I making you worry about things you never worried about before? Am I making you over-think your every last Internet move, and even more so, your text messages? Have you ever thought about writing me to ask if it's okay to log into your own Facebook account and then sat, paralyzed, for literal minutes on end? I'm not sorry if this is your life now. I'LL MAKE YOU NEED ME. HahaHAHAaaaaa.
Anyway, you're not crazy. You're thoughtful. Maybe crazily thoughtful, and if you have to use crazily to modify an adjective, it might as well be that one. I think you should always respond to things as soon as possible, and for you I guess that means weeks later, in this case. It's still better to respond at the source (however belatedly) than to ignore it completely, UNLESS we're talking about a comment thread that included several other participants. You don't want to send new notifications to a bunch of people who are so over your status just because you weren't on top of it in the first place, so if that's the case, send a private message or a text (or whatever direct communication you would typically use with this person) to the relevant party.
What do you do when your boss asks you what your Snapchat name is?
I would light a candle and put it in your front window, or else I would tape an X across your back window. I don't think anybody will show up, necessarily, or anything, but it just seems like something you should do when something so monumentally confusing — and something so indicative of the universal passing of time — happens to you. Then just lie on the floor I guess.
There are just a few cases where this is remotely appropriate as a request: this one, and ones like it, in which your job and his job (and my job) is The Internet, and it makes sense because we talk about Snapchat at least once a day. And I think that maybe the second (and only other) appropriate time for a boss to ask an employee for his/her Snapchat name is if the boss is a teen and so is the employee. What the hell kind of business is THIS! Haha. Um, no, but remember always, sweet children, that ten seconds is longer than you think!!
If you've deemed it relatively normal for your boss to ask for your Snapchat name (and I mean "normal" in the "this wasn't something I could have ever prepared for but now that it's here I can't fairly say I'm surprised, either" –type way), then just give it to him. And, uh, don't go out of your way to send him snaps? Unless they're of your work checklist, all completed, or food in the break room, or anything else inoffensive, un-blackmailable and worky. Just don't.
Senior Editor, Ghost Hunter, Ufologist
Contact Katie Heaney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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