Online dating is a popular topic today. So many people use online dating services to communicate, find romantic relationships, or just find friends who shares their interests and hobbies. Online dating is a controversial topic due to many reasons, and often people have a number of stereotypes about it. Many stereotypes are connected to the myth that most users, especially men, only look for sexual adventures, while women only look for rich husbands. However, these are just myths, and majority of people who register on the dating websites feel they need more communication than they have in real life due to these or that circumstances.
The most common reason while people create profiles on dating sites is limited amount of time due to being busy with work or other activities, or a limited social circle, say, in a small town, where it may be impossible to find a soul mate who shares your worldview. Other people just want communication beyond their social circle, so they register on a dating site to expand their abilities in finding friends; some people travel a lot, and really look for friends in countries they visit.
Despite all the benefits and almost unlimited possibilities for communication on such websites, there are certain benefits and disadvantages one should consider. Specific risks of online datings should be taken into consideration before the user goes into developing relationships online.
Risks of Online Dating
There are two main groups of risks connected to online dating: technology risks and personality risks. Technology risks are those that may be posed by the technologies, for example:
- you enter an unchecked website, it turns out to be fake and created only for gathering people’s data for selling it;
- the website may be ok, but vulnerable to attacks, and a third party can get in and steal the users’ data; the main problem is these risks cannot be checked in advance, so it is better to use only reliable websites. Besides, each and every user should take care about his or her online security personally;
Basically, the technological risks can be easily avoided if the potential user takes care of safety and security of the data, does not enter suspicious websites, double-checks his software and hardware on a regular basis, and follows the main security rules on the web, like strong and variable passwords. On the other hand, risks connected to personality are more diverse, happen more often, and are harder to avoid and predict. These include, from less serious to more serious:
- faking one’s account information or photo to deceive the users;
- telling lies to users when communicating, so there is a serious chance to have a great disappointment;
- stealing other users’ photos or information to use in other accounts;
- luring the users and persuading them to send nude photos and then blackmail these users;
- persuading the users (this is especially true for men doing that to women) that they have relationship, and start dating in real life, but while the first party only has fun, the second (persuaded) party believes they build relationship to create a family;
- organize real life date and abuse the user.
So if you fo to a real-life date with a friend from a dating website, make sure you tell your relatives and friends where you go and with whom, and when you plan to return home. It is a good idea to ask them to call you in the middle of the date, just to double-check that everything goes fine with you.