Should I Tell a Cheating Guy’s Girlfriend That We Hooked Up?

Navigating the intersection of etiquette and technology.
March 6 2012 3:36 PM

Revenge of the Facebook Stalker (Transcript)

 I hooked up with a jerk with a girlfriend—should I rat him out online?

(Continued from Page 1)

Emily:  Oh sure, thank you. You're not a member. Sure, the Weiner excuse. Okay, go with that. I'm not so sure I trust technology to change human nature in any profound way as far as cheating is concerned. You’re right. Here you go. There's a technological cutout that allows you to more easily cheat. 

But I do think, in this case, before Facebook if you had hooked up with these jerks, how would you possibly start tracking down their girlfriends? You’d have to call people and really do some embarrassing detective work. So, here it is. They used their real names. I say, ladies, female solidarity. Let these other women know who they’re really involved with. 

Farhad:  I think we've mentioned it before that if you are going out with someone and they don't have a Facebook profile, you should be suspicious. 

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Emily:  Wait a minute. You may have mentioned that.

Farhad:  I think I’ve recommended that. You know why, though? Imagine if this guy didn't have a Facebook profile. That’s why. You should be suspicious of someone who is not making your relationship known publicly on a site like Facebook.  I’m going to go on record with that.

Emily:  I'm fine with people not having a Facebook page if they don't want one. However, I think you’re right. If you’re of a certain age and you meet someone who you are about to go to bed with, and that person doesn't have a Facebook page, you may be getting a false name. It could be some kind of red flag. This also comes back to don't sleep with the guy you met at the concert.

Farhad:  Or at least check their Facebook page before you do.

Emily:  Or at least use a condom.

Farhad:  Yes, that too.

Emily:  Okay, Farhad. Here's my bottom line.  No sleeping with people you don't know.  If you do, and you find out they have a girlfriend, let her know on Facebook. 

Farhad:  I agree with you. You should let her know on Facebook.  I also recommend you should check out people's Facebook profiles before you sleep with them. 

Emily:  Send us your questions about shifting etiquette in the online age. Our address is digitalmanners@slate.com

Farhad:  You can also join our Facebook page where we carry on the conversation throughout the week. Go to www.Facebook.com/digitalmanners.

Emily:  And we’ll talk to you next time on Manners for the Digital Age.

Farhad Manjoo is a technology columnist for the New York Times and the author of True Enough.

Emily Yoffe is a regular Slate contributor. She writes the Dear Prudence column. 

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