by Leah Barker
There are over 7.125 billion people in this world. 7.125 billion fish in the sea, or potential lovers.
According to statisticbrain.com, there are around 747,408 sex offenders currently in the U.S.
Me, being a naive 23-year-old college student, downloaded Tinder with the persuasion of my roommates. I was surprised at the number of matches I received, and messages flooded in, with handsome men asking me for my phone number and Snapchat username.
They were cute, college graduates! What could be the harm in that? So naturally, I gave in, adding my new “friends” on my social media platforms like crazy.
I didn’t think much of it until I rolled over one morning and checked my phone like I always do. I had more than a couple of Snapchats that opened up to…well…a man’s pride, and trust me, I was not appreciative.
On top of that, I had been added to highly inappropriate, sexually explicit groups on Facebook. I was shocked. Disgusted. The night before, I had just conversed with these seemingly sweet, smart guys about our passions and the meaning of life!
It was then that I realized that most men on these dating websites have a distinct, hidden motive that reveals itself as soon as they gain the woman’s trust.
I was so disappointed. I don’t know what I was expecting…to meet my Prince Charming, maybe? But no, all I got was a plethora of phallic images to last me a lifetime.
There are so many dating sites trending right now, such as Grindr, Tinder, Plenty of Fish, Match…the list goes on. Blind dates can be romantic, fun, and lead to life-long relationships, but the risks that online matches provide are often passed up. The only information that these dating sites provide are pictures, a brief description, and an online chatting experience. And to many, that is enough to meet the person face-to-face.
Thenextweb.com states “The figures show that in 2013, there were just 55 reported crimes citing Tinder or Grindr in England and Wales. This increased to 204 in 2014 and 412 by October 2015.” They continued to report that, “The most common crimes reported were of violence and sex offences, including rape, grooming, and sexual exploitation of children.”
Luckily, I was smart enough to reject my matches invitations of “Netflix and Chill,” but it still haunts me to think that online dating can lead to unwanted sexual gestures. All these men see on these sites are your images, and that is, in my experience, all that they want.
I know that there are definitely some “Happily Ever After” stories that come from these dating websites, but people have to be aware and armed when they first meet their blind dates.
To the Tinder, Grindr, and other dating site users: Proceed with caution.