Online dating is becoming one of the most popular services offered on the world wide web. According to Online Dating Magazine (2007), there 20 million people who would visit an online dating service or site in a month. About 31% of American adults are paying for an online dating service as stated in a project report released last March 2006 by Pew Internet and American Life. It’s no wonder that online dating has reached a financial growth of $642 million in 2008, according to Jupiter Research.
Why is it so popular? Some would say that they are able to build and meet relationship partners. But that is not the only reason why people are interested in visiting and becoming a member of different online dating sites and services. There may be risks, but there are still reasons why signing up for internet dating is a good idea for some.
• People tend to show how they really feel.
There are indeed some people who would make up things about themselves, post a magazine photo in their profile, lie about their identity but there are still some honest people on the net. Most people would easily and freely converse online, sharing their emotions and thoughts because they are not afraid of getting embarrassed. You get to know the “real” person.
Aside from that, it is also easier for you since you do not have to impress the person. You can be yourself. If they don’t like it and rejected you, then it is not outright embarrassing. Some users would say that fear of rejection is no longer a huge factor with online dating.
Let’s start with the fact that there are free online dating sites, although some would recommend that it may be better to get a paid service, security-wise. But it does not mean that free sites should be avoided, just be extra cautious with the amount of personal information you give online. It is more inexpensive compared with going out in dates.
• Safety and Security
Now, some people may raise an eyebrow. After all internet fraud and scams are prevalent. However, what’s great (also one of its risks) about the internet is anonymity. Giving away or providing your personal information like contact details, is of course, your own discretion. There are also some online dating sites which would perform background checks on their members.
If the person you are talking to showed inconsistencies with language and attitude and eventually finding out that they are not what you expect, you could stop chatting with them. If there are some suspicious people online, then you could always inform the site administrator or flag them.
• Meeting in Person
You do not have to rush and meet personally. You could take your time, getting to know each other more. This would make you feel more comfortable when you finally meet. Think about the awkward first dates and meeting. This is a perfect solution since you have already established a relationship or communication online. But never be too complacent, forgetting your safety and security. When dating people you have met online, it is better to meet them in the meeting area instead of asking them to pick you up or drop you off to avoid letting them know where you live.
Although, I have mentioned that honesty is important, it is still essential to protect yourself. Online dating could certainly provide you the opportunity to meet your soulmate, but it could also be a venue for scammers and frauds. You just have to play smart.