Monday, 5 November 2012

9 WARNING SHOTS concerning Online Dating and Relationships: Be informed



Online Dating
With the advent of technology especially the latest telecommunication systems, the dating game has not been left behind. Nowadays people are meeting prospective future mate online via web or mobile sites that host profiles for people who could be single and searching. Some sites are more of social sites e.g. Facebook and Tagged while others are purely for dating and hook up e.g. Metrodate and Cloudromance.


Online dating depicted graphically.
Below is a list of some of the sites that are available in Kenya where you can find a potential partner.

  1. Facebook
  2. Tagged
  3. Hi5
  4. Ok Cupid
  5. 2go Mobile Site
  6. Cloud Romance
  7. Mingle
  8. Niko Single
  9. Kenyan Singles
  10. Metro Date
  11. One Love Net
  12. Search Partner
  13. Naughty



The list is endless. Personally I know more than 100 online dating sites but the ones listed above have an edge over most that I know. You are only required to sign up for one and get hooked up. Some sites offer free services while others someone has to pay in order to be a member.
When you sign up, some sites can do the matching for you depending on how you describe yourself and how you describe your potential mate. You also have the ability to browse through the profiles of people you perceive as potential mates and if the profile interests you, you can try your luck on the person.
However, as much as online dating is there due to technology, there are some basic facts about the game that you are supposed to know. The game is even more serious since there is no an eye to eye contact with the people. There have been very dark stories about online dating that are worthy noting and someone should take the necessary precautions in this game.
 


ONE: Many people NEVER use their real names
Believe it or not, many people online DO NOT use their real names. They use fictitious names that they personally choose depending on reasons. Some names reflect foot ball passion, others are flirty names, names of celebrities they adore, cult names, business names etc. Unlike offline dating where people are less likely to cheat on names, online people lie by proxy in their names and are proud of it. A word of caution is, some names depict someone’s character so look closely into the name and you may be able to get a glimpse of the person’s characters. Do you use your real names?

TWO: Many people LIE about their education, achievements and career.
Believe it or not, many people lie blatantly about their education, achievements and career. Facebook users are notorious in this. In their personal profile people will write that they attended prestigious schools and universities, live in posh neighborhoods, have careers and jobs with great titles, check-in in expensive hotels, and travel in diverse places all over the world etc. Facebook as an online application has features to enable you to really share your personal details. Unfortunately, many people abuse the features to their advantage.
People also take photos with expensive things e.g. BMW cars, boarding an airplane etc but in reality they have none of it.  This is even made worse by photo editing where someone who is good in Photoshop can make a “real picture of him being in New York City while in Kenya”.
Many people also on Facebook post photos of themselves having good times and this leads to a false conclusion  upon the viewer that the person photographed is having such an enjoyable life while in reality he could be leading a miserable life. Those who are desperately searching are experts of this photo games.

THREE: Many people lie about their Real Relationship Status
Believe it or not, single is only an online relationship status to many while offline they are in a relationship whether it is stable, complicated and some are even married!! Some people are online for purely immoral reasons. Some want to cheat on their current partner, some wants an extra partner, some want extra money (Oh! Am right!!) and some want sex with no strings attached. A closer look at people online, many people flirt freely online than they are capable of offline. The advent of emoticons that convey emotions has made it easier. Some people also search for the famous “Mpango wa kando” online better than offline due to convenience involved. So does your online relationship status reflect the reality in your life?

FOUR: Power and ease to lie emotionally
The truth is, you are only interacting with “A stranger” behind an online forum. Since there is no face to face communication, it is easy to lie emotionally. All one needs is proper typing skills and a nice flow of words and emoticons and the recipient will interpret that in his/her own sense as reflecting the typed message. It is easy to send flawless messages of love and affection while in reality you feel nothing about him/her. This is the number one reason why many online relationships never succeed offline, emotional blackmail. After you meet him/her offline, you may be surprised to meet a totally different person from your mental picture about him/her. So next time you fall in love with someone online, think again.
 
FIVE: Anonymity of the users and lack of accountability
This is freedom from being identified by people. It is possible to interact online and remain anonymous. However, many people have pushed this to a harmful extreme. They hide behind a false fa├žade e.g. they do not have their real photos online, false names and locations, false vital information etc. Unless you are an online smart individual, it is virtually impossible to know when someone is presenting to you false information about him/herself. Some people have dated online but when they meet, they discover they don’t know each other at all. Are you presenting your real self online as you are offline?
People also lie about their past, and have the capability of presenting a perfect image of themselves that is just a faked identity and character. An angel online may turn out to be a demon offline. So watch out on this.
NB: A bit of anonymity is a good thing while online for safety reasons.

SIX: Online Predators and Scammers
Some people are online for very wrong motives. All they do is lure unsuspecting individuals into an offline trap and molest, rape and at extreme kill their victims. Some lure small school going children who gets easily lured due to their gullibility. But this can also befall adults. People have reported cases of being lured into a trap and gotten drugged and gang raped. Also people have lost personal items resulting from meeting people online. Be wary of suspicious individuals online and when meeting people offline, be on your guard. Cyber-stalkers can also use internet dating sites to make contact with people and they can start stalking them in real world. 
A trend in scam is also rife online. People pose as who they are not while preying for your hard earned money. They bomb you with a series of love messages, romantic poems and a promise of undying love while in reality they are setting you up for a major scam to normally get money from you and there after, they simply cease to exist.
 Tagged is a popular scammers site due to its ease of use and browsing user profiles and a lack of restriction on sending messages to strangers.

SEVEN: Flirts and people who are never serious
Even if the ad says a person is looking for a real relationship, chances are the poster will keep his options open for a while. Since many online daters have profiles in more than one site, this means they're getting responses from all over the place and from many different groups and types of people. Some people are known for being serial daters with numerous partners since online dating can enable you to meet so many people so easily.
 
EIGHT: Distance between people involved
Because online dating reaches everywhere, there's always the chance that you'll end up meeting and exchanging messages with someone who doesn't live anywhere near you. This may not seem like a big issue at first, but relocating is difficult when you have a career and a life set up somewhere. Long-distance relationships are extremely difficult, especially at the beginning. Unless you limit your search to people living within a short distance of yourself, you will have to deal with this issue at some point. Distance also brings out sensitive issues. Consider, some people have sent money for prospective partners to have them visit them, but instead the money recipient never goes but uses the money for other affairs. (Call it Cyber-Conning!!)
 
NINE: Cost and waste of money
While online dating may at first seem cheaper than "real world" dating (no need to pay for drinks or cab rides), the truth is that most matchmaking sites charge a fee. This fee may not be all inclusive, and extras sometimes add up. Some websites charge a basic membership fee for setting up an account, but you will need to pay extra to receive messages, contact members or expand your profile. Knowing what the fee includes before you sign up will save you money. Also, you may not be able to see the type of ads available on the site until you pay for a membership, and once you do, there's always a chance that nothing there will match with your taste or preferences.

Am not personally against online dating as it also have got some nice success stories. But the truth is, most online relationships never last long and those which does, it switches from online mode to offline mode. The truth is, there is much to know from an online partner when you initially meet than assuming that you already know that person fully. Offline interactions are the only one that can solidify a relationship more.
Have a good day.

20 comments:

  1. Interesting blog...and those are great sites for online dating! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome my friend. I believe there are so many people who are allured by online dating, but it is good knowing the facts.

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