The Dangers of Online Dating
The internet has progressed and continues to progress as time passes. The internet is a place where people can meet and communicate with each other. Whether they are in two completely different locations or the same location, the internet has helped us communicate as if we are right next to each other. The internet has also been constructed in a way where people can date online. The internet can be helpful but it can also be dangerous when it comes to online dating. People face many different types of dangers when they are associated with online dating because this world is filled with people who only want to cause damage to other innocent people. Online dating is dangerous because anyone can create a false profile that makes other people believe they are real but then lead to letdowns, predators and criminals use these sites to find victims, and finally because these sites portray themselves as a trusting site when it is just filled with false advertisement.
There are many online dating sites such as match.com, eharmony.com, christianmingle.com, and much more. Unfortunately these sites are full of people who have created a false profile for themselves. Many of these fake people can be very dangerous because they can be rapists, sex offenders, criminals, etc. and they are portraying themselves as innocent regular people. The picture below portrays a man that is using a false profile he had created for online dating; this guy is full of lies because of how he portrays himself on his matchers.com profile. It depicts him as sexy, single and wealthy but by comparing his online profile to his actual self, which is a fat, ugly, and married man, anyone can tell that it’s fake, unfortunately other online daters wouldn’t know that. There was an online dating scam that involved Tim Dog, a 1990’s rapper. He pleaded guilty for grand larceny because he convinced a woman named Esther Pilgrim to gather $32,000 in credit card debt. Tim Dog lied to Esther Pilgrim because Tim Dog was trying to gather money for his comeback album. These are examples of the online dating letdowns because it is easy to create a fake profile and manipulate other people into thinking that the fake people are real. The scary part about these letdowns is when a criminal or a predator is trying to find a victim to harm.
When it comes to online dating, criminals or predators take advantage because they feel that online dating sites are bursting with victims they can harm. They create a fake profile that can take about 5 minutes to make and soon enough they are searching the site looking for a gullible victim they can put their hands on. Match.com was sued for $10 million by Mary Kay Beckman, Beckman met Wade Ridley online and Wade had the intentions to kill Beckman but failed to do so. As a matter of fact Wade Ridley confessed to have killed a woman named Anne Simenson, who he had met on Match.com. This is just one of the many criminals that are out there using these online dating sites as bait. People continue to use these online dating sites not having a clue about the many dangers that can occur. The reason why people still use these sites is because of the false advertisements that are portrayed.
Many times on T.V. we see online dating advertisements, they always have at least two couples who have met and been married due to that site. The commercial only says that the couple has met and has been married for a certain amount of time but how do the viewer’s know if that is true? People just choose to believe this non sense only because it was on television. They feel that since it is on T.V. it has to be a real success. These online dating advertisements don’t speak about the possible dangers that can happen because then the online dating sites are afraid to lose money and “trust”. Beckman’s lawyer told KLAS that “adsfor the dating site give consumers no sense of the risks involved with onlinehook-ups” (David Knowles). These online dating advertisements are filled with lie and deceit and it’s unfortunate to see people get hurt, killed, or left disappointed due to these “trustful” websites. These advertisements do not fully convey everything about the site to the viewer, all they depict is the “good things” about online dating. Although they avoid the dangers, discussing possible solutions to avoid these online dating dangers wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
It’s difficult to come up with solutions to prevent these online dating dangers but it isn’t impossible. There are many things that these companies can do to protect their users from these dangers. The article “Common Sense Is Needed to Face theDangers of Online Dating Sites” is written by an anonymous writer known as the single city guy, but he actually gives a possible solution that companies can do to protect the online dating users. He states that, “…large marketing campaigns are created for selling a product, there could be marketing campaigns to inform the public of online dating safety. Even then, there's more they can do” (Single City Guy). These companies need to realize that in order for people to trust these sites, the companies need to discuss the dangers and safety tips to keep the users away from danger. There are many things that companies can do to solve the madness of online dating dangers. If online dating companies were smart and protected their users, they would not have to worry about lawsuits, complaints, and resentment. If they cared, they would gain users, publicity, and most importantly trust.
I personally wouldn’t try online dating because I have trust issues when it comes to meeting complete strangers. Once I met this guy named Tom Johnson on Facebook, I had no idea who he was and he sent me a message. I replied back to his message and later in the conversation he was confessing to me that he was white supremacists, who killed 1 Black man and 1 Hispanic man. I was freaking out because this guy actually knew who I was and he was threatening me by saying that if I said anything he would come after me. I didn’t believe this person, I thought it was just a sick joke but eventually other people around Facebook had an encounter with “Tom Johnson”. Whether this person was fake or real this is an example of crazy people who stalk the internet. Obviously in an online dating site no one will introduce themselves like Tom Johnson did but they will act as if they are innocent and once its time to meet, the real Tom Johnson comes out.
Online dating sites can be dangerous due to the people who use it. Some people will portray themselves in a truthful manner but others will not. Others will make themselves look like they are perfect when in reality they are posers, criminals, or predators. Online dating sites are mainly dangerous because of all the fake profiles that lead to disappointment, all the criminals or predators seeking for victims, and all the lies that the advertisements present so people can trust online dating. It’s a shame that the internet is packed with low lives that want to cause disappointment or harm to others, but hopefully one day there will be a solid solution that will put an end to the dangers of online dating.
Some commonplace things seem to happen without special premeditation, effortlessly. We grow up, find work, find someone to marry, have children and accomplish other such purposes without paying them much attention. So it seems. Perhaps that is true for some people; but certainly not for everyone, and probably not for most. Most of the effortless success that others seem to have is an illusion. Most of life’s problems are not solved easily or automatically.
Almost everything worth having or doing is accomplished more readily by an aggressive, systematic attempt to achieve that purpose. Putting it simply, good things happen to people sometimes just by luck alone, without much effort, but not often.
Suppose you want to buy a house. Is it likely that the first house you look at will turn out to be the house of your dreams? No. More likely you will have to look at fifteen or twenty houses before you decide to buy one. If you look at one house every week or so, this process can take a long time. If you look at ten or twenty houses in a week or so—which is possible—you can find that house pretty soon.
The same applies to jobs. I think everyone should always be looking for a new job, in case a better job shows up unpredictably, as they do from time to time. But looking for a job is enervating. Interviewing requires putting yourself up for someone else’s approval, or disapproval. Most of the time interviews are not followed by a job offer. But it is not possible to get a good job without going through such a process. The more interviews a prospective employee goes on, the more likely he/she will finally receive a desirable job offer.
But when struggling to do something, such as find a job, it is important to know what your chances are, so that you do not become demoralized after repeated disappointments. Rejections are inevitable. They do not mean that such efforts are doomed to failure. Studies show that of those submitting resumes in response to an advertised job opening, only two percent will receive an invitation to visit the prospective employer! That means that an applicant can be turned down, or ignored, forty or fifty times in a row without there being anything wrong with his/her application.
The high rate of rejection is not an argument against sending in these applications; it is an argument for sending in more and more of them. If the chance of success is only two percent, the odds begin to favor the applicant if he/she responds to four or five hundred job possibilities. The problems inherent in this process are two: it is difficult to find four or five hundred job possibilities, and it is easy to become demoralized after being turned down over and over again.
This same process of pursuing statistically unlikely opportunities is required for success in many endeavors, for example, publishing a novel, or trying out for a professional sportsteam, or leading a successful rock band. Most people who reach these objectives only do so after repeated attempts. Or, putting it differently, repeated failures.
Take the matter of dating. Some young men and women meet in high school; and sometime later, perhaps years later, they marry. They never have to deal with the awful feelings of unrequited love. They have never been jilted or disappointed over and over again by meeting one unsatisfactory person after another. They have never experienced the difficult problem of turning away a suitor without hurting his/her feelings. Similarly, they have avoided getting their own feelings hurt when they were the one who was being rejected.
But most sensible people think it is a bad idea to marry young. There is too much young people need to learn about themselves to know what sort of person is most likely to make them happy. Of course, I have seen over the years a number of couples who married their childhood sweethearts long ago. Some of these marriages have lasted and seem to be happy. But in the setting of my office, where people are likely to be frank, most tell me that they wonder sometimes how it would have been being married to someone else. I think that those who meet the right person right away are probably unlucky, rather than lucky. On the other hand, the trials of dating are real.
In prehistoric times, when human beings travelled in small bands of perhaps fifty to a hundred people, there could not have been much choice of mates. It is hard to imagine anything like dating in those days; but men and women did come together, even then. They may not have paired off, exactly; there may have been harems. But even then there must have been some choice involved. After all, other animals have elaborate courtship behaviors. Mammals and birds, and other animals have to win the attention of a possible mate. In prehistoric times, individuals probably had to choose from only a half-dozen or so potential partners. Still, this arrangement worked out well enough for us to have showed up very many generations later. But more choices make for better choices. That must be true.
An argument for internet dating:
We have now, in the time of the internet, an inestimably huge number of potential mates, or to put it in the current vernacular, dates. I have a list of fifteen or twenty dating sites. There are probably twice as many. Some are free. (I don’t recommend those that are free since the people on those site are less likely to be financially successful.) Some people, especially some older people, have a prejudice against internet dating. They make the following objections, which I have described in a previous post and in a somewhat different context:
Meeting strangers is potentially dangerous. Not entirely false, but certainly not true. Meeting people through the agency of these dating sites is no more or less dangerous than meeting them any other way.
Presenting oneself publicly as wishing to meet someone suggests, in the minds of some people, that such a person is driven to dating this way because he/she is unsuccessful dating in a more conventional way. Plainly, false. Patients whom I have known who date successfully are largely inclined to date people they meet in all sorts of places, church, work, parties, and so on—but also at internet dating sites. Why not? There are advantages to internet dating:
- You can be in a dating situation at home, dressed comfortably, at a convenient time.
- Communicating over the internet, you can be careful about what you say (that is, text). You can be thoughtful, rather than impulsive. If it is ever possible for you to be clever or witty, this is a time that favors you. You have time to think. (By the way, I don’t really recommend that people struggle to be witty or charming; it is too hard. Aim for friendly.)
- You start off knowing a lot about the other person. There is a picture, usually. (The picture is chosen, obviously, to emphasize attractiveness. Also, the picture may be a few years out of date, but is still helpful in getting an idea about how that person looks.) Other bits of information include age, level of education, nature of employment, religious ideas, smoker or non-smoker, interest in sports etc. Not all of this is reliable. Exaggeration is more common than outright deceit, although outright deceit certainly does occur from time to time. Still, this is a lot more information than you have about a blind date, let alone someone you meet at a public place such as a singles dance or a bar.
- You get to find out even more about the other person before arranging to meet. Texting back and forth for a while tends to eliminate people who tell off-color jokes and who are otherwise unsuitable. A prospective date may seem unsuitable because of his/her use of language. Or for writing ungrammatically, or for any of a hundred other reasons.
- You can approach a great number of people simultaneously. The rule, here, is that you can certainly date more than one person at a time, but you cannot sleep with more than one person at a time without breaking an unwritten rule and appearing in the minds of most people to treat sex too casually.
- There is some reason to think that the other person will know enough about you by the time you meet not to want to reject you out of hand, which happens sometimes in blind dates and dating in other contexts.
There is, however, a third objection to internet dating:
As is true in the situations described above--finding a house to buy or a good job—you are likely to have to try many times, over and over again, before you are successful. It is important to realize and accept that any single dating opportunity is not likely to result in a long-term relationship, SO YOU MUST NOT BECOME DISCOURAGED BECAUSE OF REPEATED FAILURES. If the first half-dozen first dates are unsuccessful, it does not mean that you are unappealing or that you are too picky. Unless you are extraordinarily lucky, the first ten or twenty people you meet—or thirty or forty—are not likely to constitute a good fit to you. Finding the right person is like trying to fit an unusually shaped peg into a similarly shaped hole. There are plenty of people that fit, but they are a very small minority of all the people out there.
I do not know of any reliable statistics about this matter, but the figures I give below approximate the way these dating situations are likely to progress:
If you are really serious about dating, you join three or four dating sites. You read the profiles of other clients and put up your own. That profile should be honest. (Any lies will surface sooner or later.) Be straightforward. Do not come across as boastful. Do not come across as someone who loves everything in the world from classical music to sky-diving. Do not pretend to being more exciting than you are. Try to come across as a serious person who likes to do things and is interested in new things. Seeming to be sophisticated is not appealing. Since everyone has a tendency to exaggerate, try to seem genuine.
Read other people’s profiles with that in mind. You are likely to find four or five people who seem to be appealing. Maybe. You reach out to them, but only one or two respond; and they seem unenthusiastic. This is par for the course. You are, hopefully, undeterred. Of the next batch of people you reach out to, two respond. You text back and forth with them. One of them who has pretended to be well-educated makes a bad grammatical error, and compounds the offence by telling an off-color joke. The other person, however, seems okay. The two of you talk on the telephone.
You arrange to meet for only an hour or two for coffee or a drink. Since many of these dates are immediately unsatisfactory, there is no reason to make the experience last any longer than necessary. If the two of you are getting along great, you can change those plans.
These first dates only work out about one in three times. The rest of the time you will not like the person sitting opposite you, or he/she will not like you. It is a reminder that, whoever you are, some people will like you and some people will not. You will meet some with whom you have so much in common—so many reasons that the other person should like you—but that person inexplicably will not. On the other hand, some people will take one look at you and think you are terrific, smart and good-looking, and wonderful, for no good reason. Search out this person.
Perhaps one out of every four people you date two or three times will seem to you to be so interesting and so much fun, you begin to think the two of you can have a long-term relationship. The rest peter out. Out of those relationships that last a month or two, perhaps one will really get serious—to the point where you both consider that maybe—just possibly—if you are lucky--- you might develop a permanent attachment. And out of these, perhaps only one out of two or three eventually lead to marriage. This happy ending can be reached within a year by someone who is prepared to date aggressively and who does not get discouraged. I have seen it happen a number of times.
Unfortunately, even after getting married, one out of two couples separate eventually.
This whole process will be disheartening and annoying if you enter into it solely with the idea of finding someone to marry. The proper attitude is to look forward on this next date simply to having a good time. It is possible to have a good time dating, even when the person you are with is plainly not going to be someone you will marry. Otherwise, it is like swimming across an ocean without being able to see the other shore. You get tired. With the proper attitude, it is more like swimming in a lake on a sunshiny day. You can enjoy yourself while you make your way to the other side.(c) Fredric Neuman 2013 Follow Dr. Neuman's blog at fredricneumanmd.com/blog