What Does "Interested in" Mean on Facebook?

Sun, Mar 21, 2010, by Jennifer Marre

Social Networks

There is one element in the Basic Information section of my FaceBook profile that has always confused me. What exactly does "interested in" mean?

There is one element in the Basic Information section of my FaceBook profile that has always confused me. What exactly does “interested in” mean?

On the surface, you would probably just assume that this question is asking about your sexual orientation: are you interested in men, women, or both? But when you actually think about it, it could be more complicated than that.

The question is not asking “who are you attracted to?” What if you are are attracted to both men and women, but want to only date men right now. Do you check both or just men? Just because a person is attracted to both genders doesn’t necessarily mean that they are interested in dating both or either at this particular moment in time. 

What if you are not interested in meeting anyone new, either because you are already in a relationship or just don’t want to meet potential dates in FaceBook? Do you check the box for the gender you are attracted to, or check neither box? Would checking neither box imply that you are asexual? Or would it make people think you are hiding your orientation for some reason? If you are already in a relationship, does checking anything under “interested in” mean that you are looking on the market for someone new?

And does your response for the “here for” question make any difference? If you are a heterosexual married woman who is using FaceBook for networking and friends, but don’t care if your potential business partners or friends are male or female, do you say you’re interested in men and women? If you say that, would people think you’re bi? But if you only say you’re interested in men, then doesn’t it seem like you wouldn’t want a female friend?

I know, most people use this to indicate sexual preferences, but the phrase “interested in” is too vague to actually be useful. If FaceBook thinks that this detail is really that important, they should ask for sexual orientation instead. Though I guess, since it’s kind of stupid to use FaceBook as a dating site anyway when there are so many actual dating sites out there, it doesn’t really matter what gender you are “interested in” anyway. Maybe people you only talk to on the internet don’t really need to know your sexual orientation, religion, political views, street address, or what you had for breakfast anyway.

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8 Comments For This Post
  1. seema1962 Says:

    Great article.

  2. Darla Beck Says:

    I just put friendship.

  3. Noodleman Says:

    Great article. Even though I don’t use FaceBook a lot of people I know do.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    If you are already in a relationship, does checking anything under “interested in” mean that you are looking on the market for someone new?

    ~> Oh yes it does. And it hurts.

  5. Jennifer Marre Says:

    Anonymous: I think most people use the “interested in” to simply announce their sexual orientation, since there isn’t a real option for sexual orientation. It’s when someone in a relationship says they’re “looking for” dating or relationships that you have a real problem. (I still keep my “interested in” section blank, however, because 1. I’m in a relationship and not “interested in” anyone new, and 2. I don’t feel the need to broadcast my orientation to the world.)

  6. Karina Says:

    It´s a very useful article. Also I wondered what did it mean…

  7. Prince Joseph Says:

    I am also confused about ‘interested in’ section of FaceBook. I have found many of my friends who are straight, giving men and women as the option. I believe they meant they are interested in lives of both men and women.

    By the way, even your profile says you are interested in both men and women :P . Is it that you are bi or is it a bug in facebook that if you leave that section, it will show ‘men and women’?

  8. anonymous Says:

    ‘interested in’ doesn’t really enquires sexual orientation.Besides it has been asked in personal info , so that the fb cud easily sort out wid whom u want to interact more .

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