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The internet has made everything easier – including dating. True, it does take away some of the exciting realness that comes with traditional offline dating in the sense that it may be less exciting to communicate via chat and email than it is to meet someone in flesh and blood but the world has since moved into the information age and we cannot waste precious time berating new dating methods and mulling over times when love letters were sent via post. That had its time and still does in some cases, and online dating is having its time now.

Online dating has opened up the world for people who have otherwise been too shy to walk out and socialize let alone date. It has opened a world much much bigger than the comparatively small sphere one would otherwise be able to meet in real life. Many people have met the love of their lives online and gone ahead to get married and live happily ever after. Sure, some relationships have gone sour but if and when a relationship takes this direction, it is not necessarily because the couple met online. Relationships all over are going sour regardless of the method of meeting.

Trolling

Like with real life dating, you stand a chance to meet any of a few unsavoury characters like thieves, conmen, scammers, serial heartbreakers, freaks of nature and even killers. This is not a scare fest but the chances are higher online because just one profile reaches way more people almost instantaneously than you would ever be able to meet offline. They’re in the millions and they have the distinct advantage of being able to hide behind their keyboards and take on entirely different personalities. They can and do mask their real intentions with lies and fake photos and it is always a good thing to be extra careful.

  • Keep in mind that these people are strangers and this is the internet where that 20 year old could be 60, that boy could be a girl and that girl could be a Government intelligence agency.
  • Keep as much of yourself to yourself as possible until you know and trust the person you’re disclosing information to. This applies especially when it comes to disclosing phone numbers, bank details, where you live, work, hangout and who you hang out with. Do not go opening yourself up to stalkers or identity thieves out to harvest personal information for evil purposes.
  • Only do what you’re comfortable with. If for example you’re in contact with perverts or religious extremists who give you the creeps, by all means log off and avoid the person.
  • It would seem against all common sense to send money to someone you barely know but it has been done and internet conmen and scammers are thriving. Use your better judgment, keep your money to yourself and make better use of it. At least until your relationship takes the angle of long term commitment and the two of you are sharing expenses and maybe even lives.
  • Online dating is easy and convenient and one could easily fall for the temptation to contact and chat with too many people. All the bad breeds are well represented on the internet and chatting with every tom dick and harry increases your chances of meeting them. Take fewer chances by communicating with a small number of people and only on reputable dating site before finally settling on your one and only.

The prospect of new love is exciting and everything but do not let it cloud your judgment. Instincts and good old common sense will go a long way in enabling you to identify red flags in good time. For your safety and peace of mind, do your best and up your scrutiny to make sure that only genuine people get into your inner circle. Remember, if this person sounds too good to be true, they probably are.

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