There’s a new fad, and it’s possibly more dangerous than the majority of the others. Online dating, it’s become a safe haven for teenagers across the globe. Throughout my entire high school life, I was very secure in the fact that I had only been in very few relationships, it was never a problem for me but I got the chance to glance around and see all my friends discuss their ‘relationships’ with people. I found that people turned to online dating when they had nowhere else to turn to. It isn’t the kind seen in a movie or read of in a book, it’s the dangerous kind that can be enough to frenzy all families.
On television it can be seen that a girl meets a guy through a secure or even sometimes unsecure website, seldom does it teach of the dangers behind the website. Usually it’s all resolved for the better, unless you’re watching a crime show drama then the possibility of surviving is slim, but reality is far from a crime show drama. Numerous people in school's have talked about their ‘intimate’ relationships and their ‘deep love’ for people they have yet to meet. It’s so easy to go onto the internet and make themselves into whoever they always wanted to be or even whoever would be the most desirable in the public’s eye. Days and days go by and the teenagers- and sometimes adults- continue with their relationship. Not even bothering at the most severe of times to Skype or ask intimate enough questions that can be proved with hard evidence- a Facebook profile hardly justifies as evidence- and then in later times they’ll get that same text or email or snap or whatever that pretty much just insists that they meet up in person. Of course, being the lovestruck fool they usually are, they’ll agree without hesitation.
That’s where the danger lies, it’s all fun and games to be in a relationship with someone who lives far away and you’ve never actually met them, because on a level you have to understand how false it is and how it’s not something that holds any actual value. But there’s always the chance of danger, the risk you’re putting on yourself by allowing someone to know you and know your number or school or even your job. You have no actual idea who it is behind the computer screen or what they’re capable of!
I for one do not believe in such a concept as ludicrous as ‘love’, but if I were to believe it I would still believe that you can’t fall in love with someone you’ve never met in person. You can fall in love with the idea of them. That someone ‘handsome’ or ‘pretty’ lives far away and doesn’t see anyone in their lives but you. That they’re a sweetheart and oh so kind, and everything about them is perfect. Yes we all want to believe that a perfect prince/princess charming lives out in the real world just waiting for us, but they don’t live on the internet, and they’re not going to ask to meet you in some severely secluded and private area.
Just because nothing seems to be going right in your youth years, and you can’t seem to land a date, doesn’t mean that turning to the strange man out in England or China is the man for you. Chances have it, if they give you some far off distance from America, they live closer than you would imagine. That’s a scapegoat to get people not to pry. There’s someone out there for everyone right? So why squander it on someone you don’t know. Online, invisible, internet dating is not safe. Maybe a few dating websites or blind dates set up by friends- that’s all okay- but not somebody you’ve never met or even someone who refuses to show their face. And by all means if you’re going to meet them because you just can’t stop true love, then do it somewhere widely populated.
The dangers are too real, and people are losing their lives over it. We’re all taught at a young age to not talk to strangers, but the internet makes it just so much easier and gives us even more of a reason to do just that! There’s no way to make it any safer, aside from providing the facts. It’s not true love, and you shouldn’t allow naivety to control you, this persona on the internet is most likely a stretch from who the real person is. Keep yourself and your children protected, don’t online date.