This Means War is the hilarious action comedy about a pair of spies (Tom Hardy and Chris Pine) who fall in love with the same woman (Reese Witherspoon) and take their espionage skills too far by spying on her every move to try and get the upper hand.
To mark the release of This Means War on Blu-ray and DVD we have got the social media expert Tiffany St. James and dating expert Maeve Crawford to give us some hints and tips for staying safe and doing your research!
Tiffany St. James is a social media strategist who has worked for the UK Government and the Guardian to advise them on their social media platforms. dating expert, Maeve Crawford, works with singles to help them make informed choices about their love life and boost their dating experience.
Why do you think people have started using social media for dating?
Tiffany St. James –One of the things is that social media has become the norm, everyone is using it. At one point online dating was a big taboo and although people were doing it, people weren’t really talking about it, that is now no longer the case. Now with the growth of social media, people are connecting in different ways, finding different groups of people that they’re connecting with and they can make friends quite easily. It kind of helps them to get away from ‘I’m going on an online dating site’ and they can actually meet people with similar likes and interests.
Do you think sites like eHarmony and Match.com, which match people on their compatibility, encourage checklists rather than actually getting to know someone?
Maeve Crawford – It does to a certain degree and I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with that, I think that sites like that have very detailed profiles where you can really gage the type of people that you want to be matched up with, but yes I think it’s important also to know what it is that you’re looking for and get to know somebody over a period of time and in the first few dates especially to really gage if it would be a match or not. It’s important to use both simultaneously.
How can you tell if someone is being genuine through their social media?
TSJ – You have to think about what people are trying to say about themselves on their social media, and I guess you have to use applied intelligence there and it’s just about using sites to your advantage. There are websites that can allow you to look into high networked individuals, there’s marriagerecords.co.uk so you can find out whether someone is married or not, which is obviously important. I’m not saying you use all of these websites before going on a date with someone, but they’re certainly helpful. Landregistary.co.uk will tell you whether someone owns a house and then People Tracer will give you information from the electoral role so you can see who exactly is living in a house, paying the bills. Twitter is particularly useful because everyone can see everything you post on Twitter. We also found interesting data on Bebo, which is primarily a children’s network and because children a more open about what they post, people were looking into what the children were posting about their parents. SoundCloud as well, if they’ve done an audio interview then you can hear their voice.
Do you think all this research this is available takes the romance out of dating?
MC – I think it can do and I think something that Tiffany has talked about previously is how much do you want to find out? You do want to leave some sort of information for the person to reveal to you themselves and get to know somebody over time. So yes, I think it can lead to finding out way too much information if you are one of those people who has to know everything about a person before you even go on the first date.
What would you say would be the most important things to look for before you go on a date?
MC –Well the first thing I would like to know is whether they are married. I think personally I wouldn’t do that much digging around because I like to get to know the person over time and base my judgement on how they come across when I’m in their presence, but if I was going to advise somebody on that, I’d say limit it to a specific thing that you need to know.
TSJ – I guess the way I’d go about that is to check marriage licenses to see if they’re married, so if they’re open about their relationship like on Facebook you can have your relationship status, but equally I’d like to find out more about the person, in person rather than dig around on the internet. I’d probably look at their Twitter feed, I’m an avid Twitter user and it would give me a flavour of how social they were and what their interests are and it is such an open platform that I may just have a quick look at it.
If someone was single as was looking to find a date, what kind of social media would they use and how?
TSJ – I think more and more people are using things like Facebook and I think I heard recently that Facebook has a new dating app. I would really hone in on what my interests are and see if there are any dating sites that have people on there that share my interests rather than just going for the popularity of the type of site. Also, it depends on my budget; see what they’re charging for their services and what actual services they are offering in addition to having your profile looked at. Some services charge extra for you to receive emails so I’d look at what services they are providing for the money that I’m spending.
There is an issue of safety with online dating, could you give us some tips on staying safe?
TSJ – Absolutely, never give out your home address or phone number. You can make arrangements to meet in a public place and if your date doesn’t turn up after a certain length of time then that’s showing you quite a lot about who they are anyway. It’s okay not to have a phone number by that point, it’s the first date, you might be speaking to somebody online and think that you know them and then meet them in person and they show you who they really are. So, definitely don’t give out your personal details, bank accounts, pin numbers and things like that.
Do you think online dating will replace good old fashion dating?
MC – I don’t think it would replace it but I think it’s a way of meeting people; it’s a new way of meeting people.
What kind of a future do you see for social media and internet dating?
TSJ – well I think it’s already working together, I think it’s got a good future. I also think it just adds another layer of information. The growth of social media and the popularity, you know, 1 in 12 Britons are on Twitter and London is the tweeting capitol of the world and there are so many apps being developed so it really is coming along.
This Means War is out now on blu-ray and DVD from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Cara Mason @Cara_FAM