Valentine is just a few weeks away and the couples have already started the preparations to make it special. You, including me, are going to witness the new love blooming around you while some are again going to celebrate this year with their baes, *sighs*. But don't you worry you are going to find it one day as people fall in love in mysterious ways.
Yeah, I just quoted Ed Sheeran. But it's true; who knows you are going to meet someone online and it clicks right away.
Online dating that was once considered as the stigmatized activity is now a most adopted one. People who are getting familiar with the idea of online dating are actively giving it a try.
But is this what we are looking for?
People meeting online and getting married is this a positive development or do we need to be concerned? Most importantly, is online dating sites making the "love-hunt" effective or something important is being sacrificed?
Meet Your Match without Paying for Drinks
One of the things that amuse me about online dating is that you don't have to buy drinks to initiate a conversation. Being single when you are at a bar or a club, you will have to pay for your as well as someone else's drinks and snacks. Still, this doesn't guarantee that you will actually meet someone of your liking. With online dating sites, you have multiple options right in front of you to find your perfect match and that too without emptying your pocket. All you have to do is to find your fit and say "how you doing?" and see where it takes you.
Easier to Break the ICE
Online dating profiles have so much to say about a person and hence make it easier to break the ice, which unfortunately is not the case in personal meetups. Let me share an incident that happened to me last year. One night in a club I met a pretty girl and after exchanging drinks I thought it's going good until she took a cigarette and offered me one. All the thoughts of being with her just vanished away. No offense, but I don't want my girl to be a smoker.
Only if I have met her online, I would know her interest and smoking habits. I believe it's easier to establish a common ground with someone right away.
You see what you want to see
Though I'm personally in favor of online dating, I can't ignore the bad side that liars are everywhere. There's no guarantee that people are uploading their right profiles. They might be lying about their interests in their hobbies, anything is possible. Just to lure you into a relationship, there's a high possibility that daters are faking their identity. By merely seeing their profiles, you can't be sure if the person is right for you or not.
Like fake profiles on social media platforms, we might be interacting with a non-existent person or what is of more concern is falling for them.
What if you are dating a Psychopath?
You can never know if the person is the same kind-hearted, generous and loving in person as he seems on texts or calls. You never know until you personally spend some time. He/she may be having some anger issues, or even worse might be a criminal. And that's the reason I always rely on meeting people first before judging their personality. Plus you have to meet a few times to know a person. I just remember this quote of Dexter Morgan, "I'm quite sure more people fake an awful lot of everyday human contact. I just fake all of it." The same can be happening on dating sites as well.
You can become a Money Mule
Until a few days ago I had no idea about this ugly side of online dating in which the real people looking out for love are falling victims to frauds. One day while surfing the internet I went through the story of a dating scam victim Edwena Doore (2016) who was jailed for around five months in the conviction of laundering $700,000 in addition to her own money that she lost during her relationship to a person named Kenneth Bruce. What's shocking was she met Bruce on an online dating site and even after warnings from police, she kept her relation going. This led her into laundering money and hence landing herself in jail. People say love is blind and this story is solid evidence of that.
How do you Avoid being Scammed?Giphy
You don't want to get stuck with someone who's involved in criminal activities or isn't a real person. So, how can this all be avoided? One thing that could turn all this around in everyone's favour is verifying the identity of every person when creating an account on any dating website. The banks do this to ensure that no bad actors enter the financial system. Online dating could also use KYC verification to ensure safety. This can be done by using real-ID documents for KYC verification. This will surely help mitigating online romance and dating scams.
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