Online dating can be a fun and positive thing, however there is much room for negativity when it comes to virtual relationships. What defines online dating? Is it when someone slides through your DM’s on social media, saying “What’s up sexy, can we chill?” Does that count? Or is online dating only when you meet someone and have an internet relationship without ever meeting one another in person?
According to Oxford Dictionary, online dating is the practice of searching for sexual or romantic partners, typically through a dedicated website. No matter how you choose to define it, here are some precautions you may want to take before signing up on a dating site:
Precaution Number One
Most dating profiles give basic information such as name, age, place of origin, hobbies, etc. As great as that may be, you can never be 100% sure of who that person is. Fellas, that sexy girl you’re looking at can be Big Joe from the block. Ladies, the sexy chocolate brother can actually be Sam, formerly known as Samantha. Let’s just be real, there is no way to check that the information given on a profile is correct or true.
Now most of us are familiar with the MTV television show, Catfish which exposes people in online relationships who may not be telling the truth about their identity. People of all sexual orientations, are getting sucked into fake relationships with people that make them feel special, happy, and even loved. These profiles are coated in false information from the names, the pictures and sometimes even gender. Ultimately, this hurts the person buying into these lies, and can cause emotional and mental damage.
Precaution Number Two
Online dating can be viewed as negative because the communication between the couple is shielded by a computer screen. More often than not, people in virtual relationships are not able to see each other in person, which limits their communication abilities. Online dating hinders people skills, which may later affect a person’s interpersonal and communication skills.
Precaution Number Three
If they are honest about who they are, online dating can eliminate the sense of mystery. You can easily research and access someone’s entire life on the Internet. When and if you finally meet up for your first date, there is really nothing left to talk about. There is no suspense. As a phenomenon of the twenty-first century, online dating has become an enjoyable but cautionary piece of the American dating scene. So the next time you are looking for a little e-love, ask yourself: Do you really know who’s behind the screen or are you being Catfished?
Cornesha Rajah – Reporter
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