Welcome to User Manual, Gizmodo's weekly internet advice column. This week we're dealing with parents all up in your Instagram, more questions on dick pics, and stalking a date on LinkedIn. Buckle up, because we're here to help.
What should you do if you're doing "research" about a person before going on a date with them, and then you click on their LinkedIn only to realize you haven't logged out yet? Should you message them to clear up any potential awkwardness, or just hope they don't notice you've now viewed their profile? -Aaron
Ok first of all, why are you stalking a potential date on LinkedIn? This already sounds like a lame way to vet someone. But for the sake of the argument, let's pretend you're using LinkedIn professionally, and you want to see what her deal is when it comes to her job. I'm assuming you don't want to date some girl who is, I don't know, a carny maybe (do carnies have LinkedIn profiles? Should they?).
Anyhow, so you're stalking her on LinkedIn and you ahem, "stumble" upon her profile. You have two options here. If you're embarrassed, just lie. "I stumbled across you on LinkedIn when I was looking at my new connections because I am a boss and I am super professional and cool and good at what I do." It's a really harmless white lie, and you get to save face. Great. If it goes well and it goes further with you guys, later you can own up to what you were really up to and she'll find it endearing and you'll laugh about it and get married and it will be your adorable story.
Or you could just be bold, be you, and tell her you looked her up on LinkedIn. It's really not a huge deal. You wanted to learn more about her before you went out with her. Big whoop! She might find it sweet that you cared.
My parents just joined Instagram. Thoughts on creating two accounts to separate my own internet self and the one I'm comfortable with my parents seeing? -David
Ok, how old are you? Are you a teen/tween? Or are your parents supporting you? I get it, you're worried that a pic of you taking a bodyshot off some honeydip at spring break in Panama City Beach might make your sainted mother drop dead. To this I would say: Don't put those pictures online anyway, you idiot teen!
But let's say you're an actual functioning adult with a job and a disposable income of your own. You have to stand on your own two feet, which means you have to stand by your decisions and also your Instagrams. You can't really keep your parents out of your digital life—parents have long since infiltrated Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al, and there's nothing you can do to stop them.
So in this case, I say stick with just the one account. Easier to keep track of, and your parents might get a kick out of finding out what you're really like for a change.
No filter. No filter can make a dick pic look enticing. How many times do we have to say it?
User Manual is Gizmodo's weekly advice column about online etiquette. You can email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave them below in the comments section. Questions are answered every Friday afternoon like magic.