Internet dating offers individuals, couples and groups an opportunity to meet online with the possibility of developing a romantic or sexual relationship. Most Internet dating services provide unmoderated matchmaking, allowing users to make their own connections via e-mail or telephone.
These services allow users to browse potential dates using criteria such as age, gender and location. Almost all internet dating sites allow their members to upload photos of themselves which can be viewed by other members. Some sites also offer podcasts, online chat and message boards. Most internet dating sites allow free registration as part of their trial service in order to attract new users. Afterward the trial period is up, a monthly fee is charged.
Many internet dating sites are broad-based, meaning their members are from a variety of backgrounds who are looking for different types of relationships. However, there are also some sites which are more specific, basing membership on more narrow criteria like common interests, location or relationship desired.
Online dating has both positive and negative aspects that people should be aware of before joining any internet dating service. Internet dating allows members to meet more people, users can easily browse other members profiles, members can communicate anonymously and with reduced fear of social awkwardness, geography is no problem since members can meet people from distant locations, most dating sites are either free or moderately priced, and members can chat with each other through e-mail or instant messaging before deciding wheter they want to pursue the relationship in real life.
There are, however, some negative aspects to Internet dating. Some members misrepresent themselves, lying about their marital status, age, gender, physical attributes or finances. On most sites, men outnumber women, so female members are bombarded with responses. most of whom are inappropriate choices. Some internet dating sites don’t remove expired profiles, and thereby falsely inflating the number of potential dates on their service. And, despite modern advances, the same dating problems that arise from basic human psychology and behavior still affect Internet dating.
How to avoid the danger of internet dating
There are some internet dating services that monitor the online behavior of their members, but only to a certain extent. There are also sites that provide second-party regulations in order to keep track of complaints, with moderators banning users who violate the rules of the online dating service
Likewise, online dating members should also take basic safety precautions, withholding their home address and phone numbers – as well as workplace or school information – until they’ve satisfied themselves that their potential date is trustworthy. Although it’s true that it’s safer to meet people online than in bars or other similar places, it’s still wise to be cautious, as not every person online is telling the truth about themselves.
Each user should remember that they control over the information they share with others. Moreover, they also need to use common sense, just like when dating in the real world – but the key to safety online is in limiting the amount of personal information divulged.
Stu Pearson has an interest in Business & T