Unfortunately, online dating is something that has seemed to become more challenging than right for individuals trying to find love as it is nothing like it seems these days. Dating websites don’t only require you to sign up for a website but some require you to pay to use the website as well. I have found that the most popular dating websites are the ones with an expense each month. There are many challenges that come along with online dating and here are just a few to reconsider whether it is the right or wrong choice for you.
Because of the fact that online dating websites are easily accessible, anyone can join and make one of these accounts and they can be whoever they want to be as well, even if it is not themselves. A lot of dating websites do not require you to prove who you are or that you are being honest about the information you are providing. Catfishing has become something extremely popular online and especially when it comes to dating online. A catfish is where someone creates a profile for themselves completely identifying themselves as someone else to seem more desirable to viewers. Around 54% of individuals who date on an online website feel that the information in their potential partner’s profile is false.
Catfishing is another way individuals use online dating sites to scheme. Older individuals often pretend to be much younger than they are and use a fake identity to lure in children that are much underage. These pedophiles use the website completely wrong and often older women get lured into these schemes as well. Safety has become a big concern when dating online and meeting up with the individual is often avoided. Unless you and the individual you are chatting with have face timed or seen each other face to face before, it is not recommended to meet up with an individual that you met online by yourself.
Recently, when hearing from a friend that they are seeing someone online, it isn’t much after that you find out it didn’t work out. It is very difficult to build up the courage to meet someone completely new in the first place but with all the safety concerns as well, it makes it almost impossible. Another thing to be careful of when using an online dating site is a catfish pretending to be a business associate to steal your money. Often when in an online relationship, it can become serious and money can be something that is sent back and forth other than just gifts and things. If the person is not who they say they are, they could really be stealing your money and using it for something completely different than you think it is being used on.
Going away to college and being independent is a time where parents worry something like this will happen to their children. Online dating is super popular when first arriving at college as you don’t really know anyone and what better way to do so than right on your phone. College students also get this sense of freedom and rebellion when going away to college and online dating can sometimes go awfully wrong. Students have been reported multiple times going to meet someone that they said they were talking to on an online dating site and never returned to their college dorm room that night. Statistics have shown that 28% of people have been harassed or made to feel uncomfortable when meeting up with the person they were talking to online.
According to a Pew Research Center report dated March 26, 2020, whether it be harassment or just a bad conversation that took place, many young women who have used dating sites have reported having a negative interaction with others they were chatting with. I have found as well that if you start talking to an individual, they may start asking for things instead of actually being interested in getting to know you. This gets old and often causes a bad conversation and blocking of the individual as a result. Individuals struggle with online dating as some users don’t always get a hint and it is just so simple to reach out. Women have complained that users are continuing to contact them and eventually harass them after saying they were not interested and had ended the conversation.
When it comes to online dating, you must know the warning signs of a catfish or someone trying to scam you online. Catfish will try to avoid face to face contact with you by using a damaging personal experience or traumatic story. This may not be the easiest way to judge but you will be able to tell when the excuses begin to flow in. You can also go on Google to use the “Search By Image” tool and check if this image is used elsewhere or as someone else across the internet. There are many ways to spot a catfish but the best advise is to just stay alert and always cautious what you share with individuals online, even if you think you know the person well.
After doing all my research, I decided to interview my mother about my interesting findings. She was shocked to see the number of individuals harassed by the person they were online dating and was happy to hear I never met up with one before. In an interview from Wednesday, Lori Herman stated “I always felt that online dating was more for older individuals who were divorced or lost a spouse to just meet someone else their age who had gone through something similar.” She felt that issues arise when younger individuals are using the websites and they are too young to understand what it is used for. I completely agree with her as I feel problems would decrease if younger individuals stayed off of online dating websites.
References: https://datingtips.match.com/disadvantages-online-dating-5085411.html https://freebackgroundchecks.com/learn/catfishing-online-statistics-and-how-to-avoid-it/ https://infographicjournal.com/warning-signs-of-a-catfish-online/
Interview: (Lori Herman, Personal Communication, April, 29th, 2020)