In the Millennial age, men and women have a nasty little habit of trolling through each other's social media channels when they meet (or before meeting) someone new. Facebook "stalking" (read: not literal stalking... there's a big, big difference) is your way of researching a potential partner. Some see it as doing their homework before a date, to get a better idea of who the girl is, what her interests are, what she's like. This is good to some degree. You can see if there are any immediate red flags, but it can also be deterimental to your date.
A study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking found this to be especially true for people who are socially anxious. When undergraduate students looked someone up on Facebook before meeting face-to-face, they were more nervous—likely because they already had expectations before the first conversation even took place.
But if you're thinking 'science be d*mned,' and you want to—or can't help—but peruse through a girl's Facebook profile before a first date, you should know some rules of conduct first. We spoke with Bela Gandhi, founder and head coach of Smart Dating Academy, a full service personal consulting firm that provides busy, successful professionals with dating coaching and online dating consulting. Here, she exposes the minefields in the battlefield of Facebook so you can use social media to your advantage and hopefully not to your demise.
Oh, and if you happen to make it past the point of being strangers, you're official Facebook friends, and have been dating for a few weeks: "All is fair game!" Gandhi says. "If a life event happens to her, you should mention it (or she may think you don't care)," she adds. Social media is huge in the dating game—for better or worse.
If you see her in "compromising" or "too-close-for-comfort" photos with other guys, that's a big indicator she's not ready for a serious relationship. Worst yet, she's fine that you know and can see! In a relationship, Facebook gives you the opportunity to watch what she does, not just hear what she says Gandhi adds.