What is Flirting in the Digital Age?

Man Flirting on ComputerFlirting is one of the great joys in life and it’s an ego booster that makes you feel more sexually confident and desired. Flirt with someone and they feel excited, flattered, appreciated and pretty darn good about themselves.

It’s also a bit of a lost art in the digital age. We’re all hyper-connected and technology has changed the way we seek potential matches and stay connected with loved ones. We express our heart through IM, fight via text and make up over email.

So, how can your smart phone help you in the dating game? It comes down to how you use it, the messages you send out and how you interact online with potential matches. Here are a few tips to make your next Tweet, “friend” or “+1″ count on and off the laptop:

1) Interested? Do Something!

Initiating a conversation with a total stranger can be terrifying- in person or online, but if you wait for someone else to hit send first, you might end up stalking profile pages forever. Remember, the person you are interested in has the same fears and desires as you.

No matter how much you muddle the approach, you will do a 100% better than someone who doesn’t even try.

2) Steer Clear of Cheesy Lines

Find questions that would engage YOUR interest and go from there.  Show her you took the time to read her profile/wall and ask a genuine question that elicits more than a “yes” or “no”.  This extra effort will generate interest on her part.  If she can answer your inquiry with one word, she probably won’t bother.

3) Skip One Worded Intros and Abbreviations

Beginning a text, chat or IM session with “Hey”, “Hi!” or “Sup” tells your lady friend that you didn’t feel the need to put forth an effort (or you’re after a booty call).  The digital age is still a chivalrous one.

While the days when a knight would request an opportunity to court a woman by way of a messenger are long gone, a woman wants a man who will go the extra mile.

Today, that extra mile is the difference between a text with abbreviations and one that utilizes the entire alphabet on your smart phone keyboard. Put thought into your tweet and she will put thought into you.

4) Friending/Following/Adding to Circles
When someone has taken the time to find your mug and send you a request for friendship, they are basically saying they find you interesting and worth getting to know. It probably took an effort to find you, depending on the popularity of your name (looking at you John Smith) and a risk to express their interest in you to you.

By accepting their friendship request, you are stating “Ditto.”  Want extra points? Find her first.

5) Stand Out with Thoughtful Posts/Links

Remember, flirting is all about showing interest in the other person. Go beyond the Facebook “poke” (read: annoying) and engage them with a link to an article or video that you think they would appreciate.

Show them that you were thinking about them while surfing the web on your lunch hour and thought “Oh! I know someone who would like this . . .”

6) Be Sincere in You Compliments

If her smile makes you do the same, tell her. Don’t say something just for the sake of it. Insincere compliments are transparent.  Go for unique – but sincere. Likewise, starting off an email, IM intro, or convo through a dating site by saying she has a nice figure will get you voted off the potential list – quickly. Stick to her eyes, smile, lips hair or hands – at least in the beginning.

7) Be Friendly, Interested and Respectful 

Your first messages, whether on a first date or that first connection via Facebook, should be friendly, light and interested – but not creepy so.  Remember, this is about learning about the other person. Encourage the other person to talk about themselves with a few personal facts about you thrown in. Steer away from past relationships or specific questions about what they do, live or hang out with.

Save that for when you both know each other a bit more and in person.

8) Ask Them Out In Person or On the Phone

Never ask someone out on a first or second date by email, IM or text. In person or a phone call is the preferred choice- Always. It is fine, however, to work out the details or last minute changes via email or text.

9) Face-to-Face Time

Social media and emails are meant to keep us in contact, but it’s easy to lose chemistry, closeness and connection when we don’t balance it out with face-to-face time. If you haven’t arranged a meeting within five or ten messages, they may think you are not interested or avoiding commitment.

10) Know When to Move On

If your crush is not returning your emails, pokes, chats or IMs, consider that person not interested. Don’t push and don’t stalk their activities via Facebook or FourSquare log-ins. Move on.

For those who feel clueless about the fine art of flirting, there’s hope. It is a learned behavior. What does that mean? It means the more you do it, the better you will be. It’s not only possible to pick up the basics but with a little practice you can nail the fine art.


Have you ever been unsure whether someone was or wasn’t flirting online? Share your story in a comment below!

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