Are you addicted to love … or social media?


Think it’s acceptable to tag a friend on Instagram during a date? Think again.

There are lots of things you can learn about your date from their social media. And while no-one is disputing it’s a very handy crib sheet for a first date – and let’s face it, any date is a test of sorts, isn’t it? – the rules are certainly different when it comes to checking your Facebook feed on a date.

A recent study of more than 100,000 people found the most annoying thing you can do while you’re out with someone is use your phone. A quarter of men and 30 percent of women have said they preferred to not date someone who is addicted to social media.

Jacqueline Whitmore, an etiquette expert and author of Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities that Distinguish Outstanding Professionals, warns to not let bad habits get in the way of your love life. “It’s permissible to pull out your phone three times on a date,” she says. “To take a picture with your date, to show your date pictures of a baby or pet, and to find the answer to a perplexing trivia question that comes up in conversation.”

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That said, first dates have their own rhythms and rules, and while it’s hard to be prescriptive, observe these etiquette tips to ensure you nab a second date.

The joy of text

Texting while on a date, albeit minimally, is generally considered acceptable. Whitmore suggests you ask permission first. “Saying something like, ‘Do you mind if I take out my phone to…?’ is polite.”


Posting to Facebook and Instagram can probably wait till after dinner – or, better, after quite a few. It goes without saying that any photos, check-ins and tagging require clearance from your date.

Bully for you

If, for whatever reason, you haven’t enjoyed yourself – whether the date wasn’t the right fit, or the venue wasn’t up to standard – cyber bullying is never okay.

Date first, DM after

Most importantly, says Whitmore, be fully present. “When you’re on a date, especially a first date, the person you are with should always take precedence. It’s sad when couples at a restaurant are more interested in their phones than the person sitting in front of them. Put people first, technology second.”

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