While online dating was popular even before the pandemic, the number of people who opted to try it increased significantly. This means that popular dating apps such as Tinder record more than 30 million interactions every day. While there have been success stories of singles connecting through such apps, there have also been horror stories of harassment and abuse, especially for women.
However, it is not all bad news, as measures can be taken to ensure a safe online dating environment. While you are looking for a dating partner, you may consider learning Italian online or other languages with one on one tutor to enhance your chances of communicating and dating with like-minded singles in different languages. This article tackles the issue of online dating, its dark side, and how to enjoy a safe online dating experience.
The dark side
While harassment and abuse affect both men and women, Pew Research showed that it disproportionately affects more younger women when compared to men. Some of the most common harassments include women often being asked for sexual favours, being sent sexist or sexually explicit images even though they have not asked for them.
Some users have also reported threats of actual physical harm. While not everyone suffers from these negative experiences on online dating sites, those who suffer these unnerving behaviors may suffer psychological stress that may negatively impact their dating life.
What can be done?
One of the ways to counter these issues is for online dating apps to be more accountable to their users. For example, Tinder uses machine learning to detect if a message is abusive and asks the sender to review it before sending. Another dating app Bumble uses Artificial Intelligence to blur images it considers explicit or nude and asks the user for permission to unblur the image to view its contents. Some apps are also asking users to verify themselves to prevent abuse and catfishing.
Most of these apps will also come with the option to block offensive users. However, deciding to block someone usually comes after one has suffered abuse, and it may be too late to prevent the vice. While these measures can be considered the first steps in addressing the problem, more needs to be done to tame online bullies and abusers.
Online dating means that users are only protected by the screening measures adapted by the apps. There have obviously been success stories of singles making positive connections and going on to form lasting relationships. However, there is still the risk of experiencing negative dating experiences especially when physically meeting in person. It is therefore up to the user to decide how to go on with using these apps.
There have also been cases where users who have experienced such negative vices have decided to entirely quit such platforms and not look back. While it may seem dramatic, you are taking control of your life and not letting others put you down.