Online dating gives you the satisfaction of getting to know an individual with confidence because there is less stress involved. You both are able to be yourself and express yourself in whatever manner you prefer without any awkward silence to follow. But can you really fall in love with somebody you have never met? Online dating poses a danger to individuals because you don’t know who is really behind that screen. It may be the love of your life, but it may also be someone trying to cause you harm. How can you claim to be in love with someone you have never met?
How can you say you know everything about a someone you have never seen in person? Hiding behind a computer screen gives people the opportunity to become someone else and hide their true intentions, which a woman from New Zealand learned the hard way. The article “Dangers in Online Dating” is about an unnamed woman who met Constable Andrew Rae in an online dating website. Having recently come out of a violent relationship the woman saw Constable Andrew Rae, an officer of the law, as her protector, but that was far from reality. The woman and Rae began chatting through email and decided to swap phone numbers and meet.
After a month, Constable Rae moved in with her. After a few days, Rae began acting violent and belittling her. He physically and mentally abused her for a long period of time making her believe no one would ever believe her if she decided to report him because she had a past and he was a police officer. The last straw came when he attacked her in front of her daughter who then told her teacher. “He was in a caring profession, but he abused that position of trust,” said the woman, “He totally controlled my life. He’s a predator and unfortunately, these types of men are using the internet to gain access to vulnerable women.
The unfortunate events that this women went through makes us realize that not everybody is who they say they are. It’s the story about someone taking advantage of an unfortunate soul who believed every word he said because she he made himself seem like somebody he is not. Since dating websites have increased in popularity over the last few years, they have become a new platform to for extortion. Another way perpetrators use online dating to harm others is fraud. According to the article “The ‘Sweetheart Scam’ Cons Those Looking for Love” they use dating websites and other social media networks looking to “cash-in on love”.
The perpetrator uses psychological traits to make the victim think they have fallen in love and gain access to their money. Once the victims are hooked, they figure out a scenario which will gain them quick access to the victims money. In one of the most used scenarios, “The con artists request funds to visit the victims. The victims will wire money to the fraudsters for plane tickets. The scam artists will concoct reasons for delaying the visit while continuing to make up justifications for more money” (7). Since the victims believe they are in love, the scam artist may spend a long time taking money from them, even years.
Fraud is one of the most common crimes committed through online dating services because the people involved are professionals. The perpetrator’s words make it difficult for the victim to realize what is happening until it is too late. One of the greatest and most popular reason people should abstain from online dating is sexual violence. It seems like nowadays the amount of rape and sexual assault cases around the world has escalated in an alarming rate. What better way for a predator to find his next victim than a dating website.
A place where they can pretend to be someone else and over time gain the trust of a complete stranger. The article “Internet Dating: Darkest Alley of Them All” is about one of the many rape and sexual assault cases, and on of the few that have gone to trial. Jason Lawrance, a company boss, assaulted 1 middle-aged woman, raped 5 women, and attempted to rape another. Lawrence met the women through Match. com, a dating website. Four of the seven women he attacked reported him to Match but they ignored the reports because there wasn’t any evidence of abusive messages being sent by him.
After a three-week trial, “Lawrance was convicted of raping five of the women, the attempted rape of a sixth and groping a seventh. ” Match has said its members’ safety is their highest priority and are working to “spot suspicious behaviour and look after people who’ve been traumatised. ” How can someone feel safe using a website like that. If Match. com would have some done something after the first report or at least started an investigation against Lawrence some of the attacks could have been avoided.
It is really hard to be safe when the victims voices are not heard. Something many argue about is that danger can come from many places, which is true. A person can be as likely to be sexually assaulted from people they meet at a bar than from people they meet online. A person is as likely to be scammed from people they meet on the street than from people they meet online. The article “Surveys: More Americans Dating Online; Sex Views Shift in Past Decade” is about how the statistics on online dating have changed by stating the statistics from 2015 and from a decade ago.
The article states that about “80 percent of Americans who used online dating said it is a good way to meet people, 62 percent said it allows people to find a better match and 61 percent said online dating is easier and more efficient than other ways of meeting people. ” But is it really worth the risk? Would you be open to the idea of somebody reeling you in and making you believe you found the one only to find out it was all a lie and have your heart shattered or be sexually assaulted and be scarred for life.
The article basically explains that the people using online dating are looking for sexual relationships. How can you find a meaningful safe relationship in a place where people are just looking for a meaningless sexual experience or someone to harm. Crime commissioner Alan Charles said, “Personal safety advice used to incorporate avoiding walking alone down dark alleys at night, but the internet can be the darkest alley of all” (Dolan). It is possible for someone to find true love true online dating, but the risks are far greater than the rewards.
In conclusion, online dating is not safe. If you are looking for a relationship or a partner for life, it is a lot safer if you go on a date with somebody you met and now in person because you at least have an idea of who they are. Maybe one day dating websites will have stricter rules and online dating may become safe for users, but today is not the day. You are too precious to risk getting yourself in harm’s way. A date is not worth putting your life on the line.