Dangers of online dating

Dangers of online dating

Top 5 dangers of online dating

Looking for love in the virtual world comes with its own set of dangers.
People may make excuses for not exercising or taking brief vacations because they live in a world that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It hasn’t, however, impacted their chances of finding someone wonderful. People are increasingly looking for a companion online as they have less’me time’ than ever before. Instead of going to a cafe or party to mingle, they are increasingly looking for a mate online. This also eliminates the trouble of spending time chatting up people with whom they may later discover they have nothing in common. Could true love be just a few clicks away in such a situation? Absolutely! However, while internet dating might be a lifesaver, things aren’t always as they seem. The virtual world comes with its own set of cautionary tales. Here are a few things to keep in mind before swiping right or ‘clicking’ with someone.

Remember, he or she is wearing a mask

Okay, the person you’re speaking with may appear to be super-sweet, and it may appear like you’ve found that special someone. However, anyone can don a mask and hide behind the screen. You could be conversing with someone who is as malicious as they come. “Never emotionally invest in somebody until you meet face-to-face,” says Dr Pavan Sonar, a psychiatrist and therapist. Even if you opt to keep it completely online, you’re still communicating with a ‘ghost,’ so keep it simple. Most of the time, individuals lie and pretend to be someone else. I know a young girl who used Instagram to exchange heartfelt messages with a man who purported to be younger and single. He was, in fact, married. When questioned, he simply fled, leaving the girl heartbroken. As a result, always meet a person before making a decision. Allowing a stranger into your life comes with hazards, and it’s even more difficult to find out who someone is behind a screen.”

Wait before you ‘add as a friend’

It’s possible that you’re bringing the person into your internet world too soon. According to Vibha Nagrani, a Bandra-based marketing consultant, “When I first met this guy online, he appeared shy but was eager to speak with me. I saw no danger in adding him to my Facebook page after we had exchanged so much information about each other’s lives — employment, families, even our exercise mantras — in just two days. He began to put likes on my friends’ pages without realizing that I wouldn’t appreciate it, much to my dismay. He became close with a friend’s pal soon after. I was taken aback! She says, “I logged him out and never called him again.”

Don’t rush to get intimate

Sweet-talking a person into sharing risqué images or other sensitive material, which can then be used to blackmail them, is a popular tactic. “You can never establish trust over a screen,” says clinical psychologist Akshata Shetty, “therefore don’t communicate any intimate information or images.” It’s like giving someone access to your personal life and not knowing how they’ll use it. Talk to someone who actually likes you, labels you a’soulmate,’ and so on. Meet and discover how attracted you are in real life if you trust the individual.”

Watch out for scamsters wanting to make money

This is something that both men and women fall prey to on a regular basis. Never pay someone online or expose your bank information; it will lead to disaster. In a dating website scam, a 65-year-old Mumbai resident lost all of his money, including post-retirement funds, by registering himself to date women for a year. He was shown a few women and given a ‘dating package’ after joining on the site and paying a registration fee to enroll as a premium member. The woman in question kept demanding more money under various pretexts, including insurance, police verification, and so on. Unbeknownst to him, the naïve victim ended up paying the money demanded. So, ignore any emotional arguments attempted to persuade you to extend.

Don’t go by others’ experiences

Okay, so one of your pals found her Mr. Right online and is now happily married. However, this does not guarantee that the same will happen to you. This isn’t true of all internet romances. Upside? There are many of singles looking for a decent partner out there, so keep looking.

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