Online Dating: True Love or Real Danger?

As dating is one of the most complex spheres of our social lives, the benefits of online dating have become very attractive to a lot of people. Websites such as match.com, perfectmatch.com, datingdirect.com and eharmony.com quickly gain popularity. But having an antivirus software doesn’t mean you are safe, that you won’t be tricked, hacked or something even worse. So, is online dating dangerous or the Internet can find you a true love?

Young couple flirting In some cultures there is still a social stigma attached to the thought of two people meeting online, but in modern societies it is so common, that often you can have several relationships at the same time, providing you find the time for it. But this is not even the first of the many advantages of online dating – the first one is the anonymity. Real dating can be terrifying for some people because when you date someone, you need to hide your flaws and insecurities, show confidence, often pretend to be a super person, in order to make the other like you. But nowadays, all can be done behind the screen, where you can stay in the safe zone for as long as you want before meeting the other in person. But how can you be sure that the other person is as honest or dishonest as you, when you only have a few pictures of them, an online account, and an e-mail address?

We must admit, there are cases of people finding the perfect match on the Internet, but there are many other examples of the dangers of online dating. Getting your credit balance emptied, or hacking your e-mail, Facebook or other account isn’t really that bad. Dangers can include theft, abduction, rape, or even death. Three years ago, a 22-year-old woman claimed she was raped by her online date she had met through a popular dating website. Of course, the man said that she wanted to meet him in person and that he wasn’t guilty. There are a lot of similar cases, but they are usually hard to be investigated. According to statistics, 10% of dating websites users are in fact, sex offenders, and most of them are men.

One of the most popular cases is one of Las Vegas woman who has filed a lawsuit against Match.com for failing to explain to her the dangers of online dating. She is now seeking for $10 million from the website which set her up with her attempted murderer, Wade Ridley whom she “dated” for eight days. After a little more than a week the woman broke with him, but what is really amazing in this story, four months later he appeared and hid in her garage. When she came home, he stabbed her ten times and stomped on her head, and despite all this the woman survived. She is very lucky! After he was charged with another murder, however, Ridley committed suicide. Horrific story! Isn’t it?

How is this possible? Well, in dating websites, many people post their real information, their name, telephone number, and address. And this is more than enough for someone from your online network to find you, where you live, facts about you and your family, and so on. The rate of growth of online dating service in the Unites States for a decade was 154% per year. Most of it was registered on mingles.com, matchmaker.com, discreetadventures.com and perfectmatch.com. Approximately 31% of the American people either use or know someone who uses an online dating service, according to a research. Despite the benefits, it becomes clear, online dating and virtual relationships can pose a real threat to you and your life. In order to stay safe, users should limit their public posts on the Internet, and mostly avoid giving addresses, full names and phone numbers to strangers. No matter how hot they look.

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