Stick to old-fashioned dating and meet people outside of Facebook

Times have changed and some of the things we do and say nowadays are shocking, even to a 20 year old. I’m not saying everything about our generation is negative, but there are some things I wish would stay more old fashioned.

We stay connected and communicate with people all over the world with the Internet and our phones, and although it is convenient, we have gone too far.

I love using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and every other social media app there is to waste time, but when it comes to relationships and finding love, I don’t think anyone should open up their heart on the Internet.

According to Nicola Doring in  a 2002 article, Studying Online-Love and Cyber-Romance, cyber-romance is common among people who use chat forums and other sites that encourage finding love on the Internet.

Doring explains why it is important to study and be aware of how online romances can affect someone’s life.

“It’s way too easy for someone to lie about who they are and it is too important for me to actually be with the person,” said junior Kelly DeRose. “I believe it limits you and keeps you in a world that doesn’t really exist.”

The producers from the documentary film, “Catfish,” brought  a new television series to MTV about online relationships and people known as ‘catfish.’

According to Urbandictionary.com, “a ‘catfish’ is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not, using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.”

This show brings couples together who have never interacted beyond their computer screens. Some couples have been in their digital relationship for over five years without physically meeting, and some have fallen in love with their online boyfriend or girlfriend.

Producer Nev Schulman coordinates real life meetings for the couples to uncover the truth about who is really behind the online profile they are in love with.

“It’s kind of sketch to me, knowing how easy it is to embellish about yourself and talk yourself up. You never know how honest of a person you’re getting,” said sophomore Matthew Burden. “They could say they are a model, but then when you meet them they could end up looking like Sloth from the Goonies. Definitely a risk I’m not willing to take.”

I agree with Burden. This idea of opening your life and heart to someone on the Internet is scary to me. Maybe I’m just skeptical, but I don’t think everyone in this world is trustworthy.

I also don’t think I could invest that much emotion and time behind the computer. I cherish the friendships and relationships I have in the real world too much to let an online world consume me.

“I feel like it [online dating] would make you more isolated from others since you would be on the computer all the time talking to your girlfriend or boyfriend,” said junior Dontaie Ferguson. “I’m sure it has its pros and cons to some people, but it can be very dangerous if someone doesn’t take precautions. It’s risky not knowing if they are lying to you.”

In episode 102 of Catfish, Trina falls in love with a man by the name of Scorpio. After Schulman contacts Scorpio and the couple finally meets face-to-face, Trina discovers Scorpio is not the same guy in the photos she has seen, he is not the age he claims to be and  he has four kids.

According to huffingtonpost.com writer Bianca Bosker’s 2011 article, Online Dating Advice: The 4 Things Online Daters Lie About MOST from 2011, height, income, sexuality, pictures and true physical identity are lied about most often.

It has become frighteningly easy to be someone you’re not with a fake Facebook account, using images from Google and a creative biography.

I’m not saying it is impossible to actually meet a nice person or fall in love on the Internet. I’m sure Match.com and eharmony.com have high success rates. But people need to be more cautious about pursuing long-term relationships online or even opening up to someone you don’t know anything about. What’s on their “about” section on Facebook may not be true.

If you are seriously trying to meet a decent person you can have an honest connection with, I would stay away from chat-forum sites such as Chatroulette.com. I know we are a growing technological world, but it wouldn’t hurt to shake someone’s hand and get to know one another on an actual date like the good old days.

 

Samantha Dela Cruz
Staff Writer
Published Dec. 5, 2012