Niche Websites Are One of the Dangers of Online Dating
The Internet has revolutionized the way we connect with each other, making it easier for individuals from unique walks of life to find one another. This is part of what makes online dating so successful - there are websites out there for everyone from cat lovers to car enthusiasts. These niche group websites can be a godsend for people with specific interests, but there are always pros and cons of online dating. While you may be able to use such sites to find someone with whom you share many interests, it can also give you a false sense of security, which could end up compromising your safety.
Example of a Niche
USA Today recently covered one of these new niche websites that likely is of interest to a large segment of the population - college students. DateMySchool.com was founded by student Balzas Alexa, who was familiar with some of the issues college students faced with traditional online dating platforms like OKCupid or Match.com. Often, students are only interested in dating people who are also going to college, which is why DateMySchool.com requires users to have an email ending in .edu before signing up.
He also felt that the stigma attached to online dating was difficult for students to overcome. But Alexa told the news source that his site is different. "Here you are comfortable immediately," he said. "You don't need those long talks that you have on other websites to make sure the other person is not a weirdo or serial killer."
Too Much Trust
Alexa's site has only been online for three years, but has already expanded its reach to 2,800 colleges and 230,000 students. However, the attitude expressed in the quote above is evidence of why such websites can create a false sense of security. DateMySchool.com users may feel that because they're only interacting with other students, they don't have to worry about "weirdos." It's not hard to poke a hole in this notion, however - think back to all of the weirdos and creeps you yourself met during your college days.
Julie Spira, an Online Dating Expert, offers some safety tips that college students and others using niche websites should keep in mind. She reminds individuals to use social media to verify if a person's photos on their online dating profile match those on other platforms. It's also smart to use a second phone number to help screen out creeps when you're meeting someone from the internet.