The arrival of digital technology and smart devices altered the way people find and build romantic relationships. With the proliferation of the internet, it is possible to start friendships and date without ever leaving your chair. According to the Pew Research Center polls, 15% of American adults said they have used internet dating sites and/or mobile dating apps. If you are thinking of using the web to find a friend, date or partner, it is essential to protect yourself from financial or physical destruction, but also heartaches.
Keep Online Social Life Private
If you are on social media sites, the first thing you have to do is adjust your privacy settings. Restrict posts that you make to just a few circles of friends. The problem with many is that their presence in social media is a way to announce what they are doing in the real world. It is also important to disregard any friend request from strangers or people you don’t recognize even if they say they know you through a common friend.
Use Reputable Dating Sites Only
Finding a date online can be a fun exercise by getting to know someone first before meeting offline. Alas, it can also be used against you especially if you have just broken up with someone and want to get back on the horse again. If you opt to use dating sites, make sure they are reputable ones. While chatting with a potential date, do not ever give personal details (not even your full name) until you are sure the other person is trustworthy. This will not only prevent your identify from being stolen, but also makes it hard to track you down. Watch out for potential scams such as sob stories about death/illness or asking for money.
Statistics show that 66% of online daters actually end up meeting offline. If you do decide to meet in person, make sure it is at a public place. Someone from your family or a friend must know where you are going and when you are expected back home. Try to go out several times in locations where there are lots of people before inviting someone over or going to their place. Stay sober, be vigilant of surroundings and keep personal belongings with you all the time (phone, wallet, IDs).
If the necessary precautions are taken, online dating can actually be fun with the added bonus that you might end up finding the partner of your dreams. It cannot get more attractive than that!
Guest Post: Jenny Holt