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Put your best digital foot forward

Saturday December 15 2018

Online dating companies say they have the know-how and scientists have been studying the question for years. The answers, alas, are not clear-cut for the lovelorn who scour the Internet looking for the perfect mate.

The ‘you’ people meet on social media can make or break you. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP PHOTO/FILE 

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I was interviewing prospective nannies this past week and there’s this one I had crossed off the list long before she picked up my call.

She had one of those ring back tones with a song that said something to the effect that all those people who do not greet her out in the streets will one day bow at her feet.

For those few seconds I listened before she picked up with a grumpy “Eh?!” on the other side, I was thinking about a woman with a chip on her shoulder and I was already debating in my head about whether or not I would trust her with my fussy little one.

Our short interview validated me. I like to believe the image I first get of people. In many instances, I believe that the saying that what you see is what you get is true.

Within the first few seconds of meeting someone, I will tick off the boxes in my head. Just a few seconds and I will have decided whether I would trust you enough to date you, have business dealings with you or even interview you for a story.

I’m aware of course that there are those people who surprise you.



Particularly now when everyone you meet seems to have something nasty up their sleeve, first impressions can’t be overemphasised.

It’s good to always have a wig on stand-by for those bad hair days and to make sure that you’re always clean and presentable but technology has made it that people will form opinions of you long before they’ve met you or even learnt your name.

With all the exposure it gives, you might think that it’s safer to just be off social media but it’s not. It’s the first place prospective dates and even employers rush to these days.

If they do not find you there, there will be questions. What is she hiding? I’m personally suspicious of people I can’t find a digital trace of. Is the name they gave even their name?

Be on social media; that’s a first impression by itself. Depending on your needs and goals, be on as many platforms as you wish. Have as many debates as you want on Twitter, post the hell out of Instagram, just make sure that those arguments and photographs you put out there are a true representation of who you are.

I have seen women asking for samples of hurtful status updates for their social media sites of for their WhatsApp account because some man hurt them. Unless you are interacting with just him, leave these alone. You have no idea the impressions you are creating on other people who come across your profiles. If anything, it may be a case of staring too long at the closed door. You know, focusing too much on hurting this man that left you that your antics put off a man that actually wants to get to know you.

Put your best digital foot forward too.