Saturday, April 14, 2012
Online Dating -- Dangerous for Your Life
by Jamie Ramirez
Sitting behind a computer, I could be anyone I wish to be. I could be a 13-year-old boy from Kansas who likes to play videogames. Or I could be a 47-year-old woman from another country looking to get married to a single American man. The point is: I could take on any identity and no one would ever have to know.
Online dating is potentially very dangerous. There's no assurance that the person you are talking to is really telling the truth. There's no way of knowing if they have a criminal background, was once or are married or has children.
Blind dates are different. Usually, a friend or an acquaintance has recommended a person who they think would be compatible for you. If someone is referring you on a date with a suitable single, he or she are using his or her judgment and knowledge of what appeals to you.
Online dating services simply use a questionnaire to match up singles through common answers and common interests. A computer does not have the ability to make a judgment call or to decide compatibility for two people. It simply matches answers.
People can also lie about who they are. Behind a computer, anyone could take on any identity they choose. Online dating is dangerous because everyone has access to a computer. That includes rapists and child molesters.
According to a study conducted by the American Psychological Association in August 2004, less than 5 percent of online sexual offenders used force to sexually abuse their victims when they decided to meet.
Victims said they already felt close bonds with their attacker before meeting with them.
People just need an Internet connection. But why put your life at risk for the chance to go on a date? Some would argue that love is worth taking a risk. Call me old fashioned, but I don't think love is worth putting your life on the line.