How do we define healthy boundaries with online relationships?
Once seen as a sub-par and borderline creepy way to meet a mate, online dating has slowly entered the mainstream. Nowadays it is seen as fairly normal to meet someone virtually.
Just look at the millennial crowd and we can see 30% of 18 to 29 year old people are currently using dating sites or apps. The question still remains though, “How can I protect myself and identity when dating online?”
New Opportunities For Relationships Online
It’s a bit of a catch-22 to use the impersonal medium of the internet to begin an intimate relationship with someone.
And some people do not have the luxury of meeting someone online that they are able to meet in real life with. In this case, usually the two parties just live very far away from each other.
So what exactly is the appeal of meeting someone online when you cannot meet the person in real life?
Does it not seem strange to say you love someone you have never met?
For online dating loyalists, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
For one, everyone is busy. Online dating can give people a way to easily meet new people when their busy schedules do not allow meeting people in real life.
Watch Your Online Privacy
Along with the good, there can be some nightmare scenarios as well.
For example, you may think you are chatting with one person, but the true person behind the screen is entirely someone else. Television shows like Catfish highlight this type of online betrayal where they investigate who the imposter behind the screen is.
Additionally, a person may present themselves one way online. But when you go to meet them, they are completely different. While this may seem harmless, it is a situation that has the potential to turn dangerous.
Privacy Steps You Can Take
This is where it pays to protect your online privacy. What are some steps you can take?
Of course, practice standard online privacy ground rules like not giving away your full name, address, or any kind sensitive information over the internet.
If you are going to meet someone in real life, just let a friend or family member know the details of where you will be and where.
To take it a step further, do a search of your name and see what pops up. You may want to do an audit of what you include on your online accounts like social accounts or dating websites.
Word Up: Content Lifestyle
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