If you enjoy anonymity, it used to be that the only people you had to worry about dating were actual celebrities. This was because THEY were the only ones showing up in the media. The paparazzi get paid to chase them all over creation, taking pictures of them, and then they’d end up on those dumb shows that come on after the news that scrape around for any gossip they can find about someone currently famous.
Social Media has advanced to the point where it’s not only the ACTUALLY famous that you have to look out for. There are people that are said to have micro-fame or are called “internet famous”. There are different levels of micro-fame, but the way SM works, the level doesn’t really make a difference. ALLLLLL you need is for one person to take a picture of you and place it on a site or in a feed that other people pay attention to, and you could end up in social bookmarks, reblogged, captioned… what-have-you.
In this case, the best defense is a good offense. You’re way better off controlling your own media from the giddyap than trying to chase it down after the fact. As an example (which has nothing to do with dating), I went to a party one time and out of the tons of pics I took with people, I took one with this chick I had never met before. There were lots of people taking pictures at the same party. After I posted mine, I got a sob-story email from her with some bullshit about how she didn’t want this guy she knew to know that she had been out partying. :/ She asked me to take it down and I did… *NOT* because I believed a word she said, but because all of my pics are with people that *WANT* to be in them with me. I didn’t need her up in the mix with that kind of attitude. 😀
The obvious question is… “Why are you so stupid that you a) went partying when you weren’t “supposed to” and were risking getting caught? b) went to a party where probably one out of every four people there had a camera and was taking pictures? and c) didn’t say to people that were taking pictures that you needed not to be seen on the internet?” Actually, (c)’s irrelevant, because if you KNOW you’re not supposed to be out partying and you see cameras…… LEAVE!
So anyway, like I said, that particular situation had nothing to do with dating, but it’s clear to me that there are a lot of people that don’t realize the times we’re living in and that your ass might be tagged on Facebook before you wake up from the alcohol you drank last night. So for those people that don’t understand what time it is in the year 2008, here’s what you need to know in order to date the “Internet Famous”…..
1) Don’t do it
If you really enjoy your privacy, don’t date anyone “internet famous” AT ALL. 😀 Look for a like-minded person who’s TRYING to stay out of the limelight like you are. If you just CAN’T get over it and you’re sweating this micro-famous person so much that you just HAVE to try it, read on…
2) Don’t go ANYWHERE with them in public
Especially in a place like NYC, where we all use public transportation and/or walk, DO *NOT* go ANYWHERE out-of-doors with your internet-famous crush. There’s no telling who reads that person’s blog or knows what they look like and will be the first one to report the where, when and with-whom of sighting a micro-celebrity. The odds of noseyness increase exponentially if said micro-celeb has declared some form of relationship to someone via Social Media Status Updates. This leads to a wildfire spreading of your business, as people try to confirm with myriad other friends of theirs: “Isn’t whomever dating so-and-so?”.
3) Meet them everywhere
If you STILL insist on going out in public with this person, MEET them places. Don’t arrive at the places WITH them. People are easily psyched out by asynchronous arrivals and departures. Make sure you’re there before they are and you leave before they do, or vice versa. Make sure it’s a good 30 minutes before the second person makes moves from the location. You can always meet up at the cribbo later on. 😉
4) Hide in plain sight
It’s very funny how people attempt to play it off that they’re messing with other people and then they act so completely different towards that one person when they’re together in public. You may as well have a neon sign that says “We’re Dating”, with flashing lights and pointing arrows… Or maybe those T-Shirts that say “I’m with Stupid =>” “<= Stupid’s with Me”. 😀
Instead, if you’re supposedly single, Act As If. Hide in plain sight. The micro-celeb will need to understand and support your position. You’re doing THEM a favor by dating them in the first place, so they need to hook you up with certain concessions that minimize the risk of people finding out that you’re messing with them.
5) NEVER post relationship status updates
All you need to look like an idiot is for your status to go from “single” to “it’s complicated” to “in a relationship” and back to “single” every week. If that’s what’s really going on in your life, Keep. It. To. Yourself. 😀 Save all that status stuff for when it’s ACTUALLY real, not when you THINK it’s real. If you just HAVE TO post SOMETHING, keep some physical stickies next to your computer so that when you get that urge, you can physically write on it that you’re dating someone and stick it on your wall so you can look at it and admire it for a few days until you need to crumple it up and throw it in the trash.
6) Control yourself
Once in a blue, as I’m walking down the street and a guy’s walking towards me with his girl, when he detects me, he tightens up his grip on his girl… holds her hand tighter… puts his arm around her… something. It’s really funny. 😀 That’s a subconscious defensive reaction. In his mind, he feels the need to indicate more than he was already that he’s “with” this chick. It’s typical male territorial pissings, but the point is that he’s giving away the fact that he’s nervous about losing his rap to this chick. If his game were TIGHT, he could leave her alone with any number of dudes and not be worried that she’s gonna give it up.
Similarly, you need to play it cool and control yourself when you’re out in public with this internet-famous person you’re supposedly not dating. Fellaz… Do *NOT* eyeball people like “Why are they hugging MY girl? 🙁 ” if you’re supposed to be dating her on the sneaks. Ladies… Do *NOT* find reasons to interrupt every single conversation your boyfriend’s having with other chicks unless you want to make yourself a prime suspect.
7) iChat is your friend……… sort of. :/
AIM/iChat, Skype, ooVoo, what-have-you are all brilliant alternatives to risking going out in public to communicate with your internet-famous crush. They all have video and audio capabilities on top of being able to text chat. Use these services to have fellowship, get your laugh on, figure out plans and timetables for the evening (see tip #3), veto clothing decisions, etc… Just keep it clean so Chris Hanson doesn’t invite you to sit down for a glass of lemonade. 🙁
The downside of iChat is… If YOUR video/audio icon stays ghosted for hours and so does your crush’s… you’re busted. 😀
8) Make up a fake significant other
This actually works like a charm. 😀 People are basically simple-minded when it comes to relationships, so as long as they *know* you have a significant other floating around somewhere, they’ll blind themselves to the fact that you might be dating your internet-famous crush. Make sure this fictitious character lives far enough away from here never to show up at ANY scene events, evAr…. but close enough that you can hop on Metro North, LIRR or Amtrak for a couple of hours and visit them for the weekend. Make them affluent enough to live wherever they live, but NOT affluent enough to train it to NYC and party… evAr.
If the heat is on and the jig is about to be UP… Your FSO will suddenly get a promotion… causing them to move to Japan, and since you can’t/won’t learn Japanese, you’ve decided it’s in your best interest to let the relationship go. 🙁
Grieve for 1/3 of the time you were dating your FSO, make up a new one, rinse, repeat. 😀
9) Enlist the help of others
You may not be able to carry off these tactics on your own. If this is the case, getting trustworthy people down with the program will help you immensely. If they are hanging out with you and the internet-famous person…. they will say they were only hanging out with you. If they were only hanging out with you… they will say they were hanging out with you and your FSO. They’ll make up stories and propagate them throughout their Social Media sphere of influence to corroborate whatever position you’ve decided to take. They will text you ahead of time not to show up together if there are unexpected Social Media people where you planned to hang out for the evening. Actually… Some people get paid to do this. They’re called Personal Assistants.
10) Don’t tell your internet-famous crush JACK!
Nothing… Nuth-Thang… NOTHING! 😀 This person has problems keeping THEIR OWN BUSINESS “out the street”, so you KNOW they’re gonna blab YOUR business all over creation! Save it. Don’t tell internet famous people you’re dating JACK that you wouldn’t post on your own blog. Don’t tell them anything you wouldn’t tell your Grandmother. Don’t tell them anything that you wouldn’t tell your next SO after you break up with them. Nuth-THANG!!! 😀
So there’s your guide to dating the “internet famous”. This is 2008. People in Australia can find out what you did last night in NYC before you’ll be able to find the same media yourself and attempt to get yourself untagged. Your best bet is to take evasive action and enable preventative measures similar to those that I’ve outlined. Overall, your best bet is not to date ANYONE living this Social Media lifestyle if you’re not interested in being a part of it yourself.
EDIT: Bonus Tip! 😀
I wasn’t thinking about this, but an excellent tip was passed to me just now, and I wanted to add it….
11) Get a hobby
Normally, being “internet famous” goes hand-in-hand with a lot of interesting things going on in that person’s life. Make sure that YOU have something that YOU’RE doing that can be a focal point for conversation as well. This is one of the reasons why actors date actresses and celebrities and entertainers tend to date each other as well. Each of them have interesting things to talk about from their side of the table. You don’t have to be doing “big thangs”… Just make sure you have SOMETHING going on so that you don’t always have to talk about your SO’s internet fame every time you get together.
As the contributor of this tip said:
Internet famous people get bored dating a “fan”.