The Dark Side of Dating Online

With the rise of technology and people totally depending on their phones for everything they do, it was inevitable that we would start turning to social media and dating apps in order to find love. When it comes to dating, we normally think that the only risk involved is getting your heart broken. With online dating, there are many more risks to take into account. Although you may have had lengthy conversations with the person you matched with on a dating app, you don’t know who they are or truly know their intentions with you. There are many success stories when it comes to online dating, people that have found love by simply taking a chance and swiping right on a stranger. But the risks are there, and your health and safety matter enough to always be cautious and consider the dark side of dating online. 

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In an article from the Pew Research Center titled “Online Dating: The Virtues and Downsides”, it is stated that 30% of adults in the United States say they have used an online dating app or website. [1]

I decided to do my own survey for fun and ask 20 college aged people close to me if they have ever used an online dating app or website. Out of 10 guys, 9 of them had used either tinder or bumble. Out of 10 girls, 7 of them had used either tinder or bumble. I found this very interesting, because I expected it to be 20/20 had used a dating app or website.

 

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One of the scariest parts of dating online is that you don’t know exactly who you are talking to. The person on the other end could be completely lying about a variety of things, such as their age, height, appearance, or even their gender. In the HuffPost article “The Ugly Truth of Online Dating: Top 10 Lies Told by Internet Daters”, it was revealed that Fifty-three percent of American people surveyed said they lied in their online dating profiles. It was revealed from the survey that women are more likely than men to lie on their online dating profiles, and that they mostly lie about their appearance. To do this they include photos of themselves that were not recently taken where they appear to be younger or in better shape. [2] According to an article on Phactual titled “16 scary statistics of online dating”, 1 in 10 accounts created on free online dating apps are used to scam people. [3]

Amanda, a 21 year old college student that was interviewed on the topic of datings apps, says that she did use Tinder often before meeting her current boyfriend on the app. She says she had a few less than favorable experiences meeting guys on the app, including one time in particular where the guy she was talking to ended up being 8 inches shorter than he claimed to be on the app. “It’s not the fact that he was short that made me upset,” Amanda said, “it was the fact that he blatantly lied about his height as if I wouldn’t find out at some point!”

 

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Another downside of online dating is the greater chance for an unappealing experience. It’s like because the person doesn’t know you, they aren’t afraid to suddenly be extremely rude to you if the interaction does not go how they planned. To quote the Org Magazine article, “Online dating apps have a major problem with sexual harassment—but solutions must start offline”, “The technology makes it easy to forge meaningful connections with people—and to mistreat them.” An article from The Atlantic titled “The Five Years that Changed Dating” included a story about a girl who politely told the guy she was talking to that she was no longer interested in pursuing the relationship. The guy suddenly got very mean and aggressive and called her the c word, then told her she wasn’t even that pretty anyway. [4] Another unappealing experience that seems to happen way too often on dating apps is women randomly receiving explicit pictures or messages from men that they did not ask for. 57% of women have had this happen to them, and 60% of women aged 18-34 said that someone on the app/site continued to contact them after being told they were not interested. [1]

James, a 21 year old single straight college student that was interviewed on the topic of dating apps, says that he has been unable to find anyone through Tinder that is serious about having a relationship, especially in a college town. For this reason, he only uses the app for hookups. When asked whether or not he fears for his safety when going on a Tinder date or having a Tinder hookup, he said he does not, but understands why some women would. “There are some very sketchy people out there,” James stated, “and I’ve heard all of the messed up online dating stories and it can be scary.” 

 

Resources:

[1] https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2020/02/06/the-virtues-and-downsides-of-online-dating/

[2] https://www.huffpost.com/entry/online-dating-lies_b_1930053?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAALXwnERPXKPt1Div6PbCob1HinP8lXGU68mojd_MDM2pIQOsnA__4LoUpofky5fNZCH4fkzYOe8wjDpQpu7n6uoz9Dl3GfHFos9Th6b3lStOVfqCLt2D22MFUyblzCaJi6UB_BP6D6S7YMfo3FbtkxWzhoRs9McSJHD4c1kcKXh3

[3] https://www.phactual.com/16-scary-statistics-of-online-dating/

[4] https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/12/tinder-changed-dating/578698/

[5] https://this.org/2018/09/27/online-dating-apps-have-a-major-problem-with-sexual-harassment-but-solutions-must-start-offline/

 

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