Online Dating: Befriend or Beware?

Wednesday March 7th, 2018

Most individuals are well aware of the dangers that can accompany the online dating world. For example, sexual predators can engage in “catfishing” (i.e. when someone pretends to be someone they’re not online) which can ultimately leave individuals vulnerable to harassment. However, online dating sites and apps have also led to positive relationships developing. It can be tricky to decipher when online relationships are safe and when we should have cause for concern.

Whether or not you use apps like Tinder, Bumble, Instagram, or Snapchat, it is important to be informed regarding how to interact safely online. Here are three things to remember when chatting with someone new over social media platforms and dating sites:

  • Never disclose personal information such as your full name, where you live, or your phone number.
  • You can always end the conversation if you feel uncomfortable. This may mean politely asking the individual to stop messaging you or simply not responding. If they do not stop, immediately report the account.
  • Never send sexually explicit images of yourself or anyone else to someone online. Sexting is serious and can result in criminal charges – even if you’re a teenager. Be sure to report any sexually explicit material that is sent to you to appropriate authorities.

 

As we’ve learned in previous blog posts, healthy relationships are established upon mutual respect and trust. Our Centre desires to see you thriving in healthy, safe, and fun relationships. If the individual you’re chatting with online hasn’t earned your trust or respect based on what they have said or done, consider if it’s in your best interest to continue the conversation.