In the age of technology and electronics, online dating has grown increasingly popular. The days of finding your mate at social gatherings or at the grocery store is starting to fade. Those days are now being replaced with sites and apps designed to mechanically pick those who they feel you are most compatible with. You know what I'm talking about; the swiping left for 'no' or right for 'yes', the quick (and sometimes awkward) chat messages that rarely graduate to a phone call and the gruesome never ending questionnaires. Yes, it's true, dating is not what it used to be, but the internet and dating mobile apps have made connecting with that special someone so much easier. Yes, when you are single and lonely, internet dating sounds like the best and quickest way to find your next new 'bae,' but does it really provide a pool of quality candidates?
Over 15% of Americans are now on online dating apps. In today's' world, everyone seems to be running around like worker bees trying to make it day by day. We hardly notice each other in passing and are too concerned with what we must to do next. Many, including myself, can't even find the time to go out and date. It just seems like an added chore that you just can't muster the energy and do. Which is why so many tend to lean toward online dating. But at what cost are we paying when siting up for those sites? Dating is unnerving enough, but when you have to add the worry of being scammed, catfished or just plain out used, dating can be outright frightening.
The dangers of online dating are very real. Everyone who signs up for these dating sites are not looking for love. Some are looking for one night stands, others looking for help to keep their bills afloat (woman beware! These dudes are looking
for sugar mamas too!) and some are going as far as scamming unsuspecting romantic hopefuls out of their earnings. Some become victims of physical assault or something much worse.
All to often we here how a woman has wired all her money to a man who has fallen deeply in love with her but have never even met face to face or about the missing woman who thought she met her prince charming coming up missing. Its sad and we always ask ourselves "how could they be so stupid?," but I had to stop and think isn't that really victim blaming? Can we truly blame somebody for hoping that they have found true love? No. I don't think we can. I think the solution is to become much more vigilant when dating.
Online dating isn't going anywhere, in fact, experts are saying that online dating will become increasingly more popular. As the population of online dating increases, so do the risks and dangers of online dating.
I personally don't believe that fear should ever keep you from finding your true love, but we all must develop habits that will decrease your chances of falling victim to the horrors of online dating. Experts everywhere are warning people to be careful, watchful and preventative when dating online. Here are a few tips that have been provided when choosing to date online:
- Planning dates in well lit public places. Always stay in public view. This will lesson your chances of an attack or abduction.
- Inform Family and Friends of dates. Your friends can act as a shield by calling to check on you or having pertinent information if something ever were to happen to you.
- Go slow to go fast. Its easy to get caught up in the lust and fairy tale dream when dating. But don't let those incredibly good looks and charismatic charm through you off your game. Like my mother use to always tell me "Lucifer is beautiful." Taking your time to get to know someone is one of the best protections against being scammed or taken for a ride you didn't agree too. It may sound cliche, but after a few heartbreaks myself, I have learned the very meaning to slowing down to go fast. Don't let those lonely nights rush you into the arms of the wrong one.
While these precautions may not always prevent you from kissing a few frogs, it can definitely protect you against malicious intentions. Dating should fun and exciting; not full of doubt and worry. Enjoy it. Live life to the fullest and have fun. Keep in mind that the internet can allow a person to be anyone they want to be. It is up to you to stay smart, vigilant and alert. If it doesn't feel right, leave.