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Do dating apps create a “safe” space to protect users?

By on November 18, 2022 0


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Today, we’ve made it easier to find “love” with a simple swipe left or right on dating apps. But, the recent Shraddha–Aftab murder case has called user safety into question in the world of online dating.

Whether it’s casual hookups or jumping in for serious, committed relationships, having a platform that meets your needs for finding love is imperative. Love at first sight: at your fingertips, dating apps today offer the same scintillating hope. Online dating platforms have turned into a non-judgmental space for singles, but can these famous platforms be a safe space to discover potential love interests?

You’re excited to find someone new, but it’s a tricky game due to prolonged social distancing. Statista has predicted that nearly 280 million users will likely turn to online dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and OkCupid in search of love by 2024. That’s a lot of fish in the sea. ! But, personally, I am wary of meeting strangers. I have heard many stories where people meet on these dating apps, and it turns out much worse than expected. They have great conversations online, but when they meet offline, it’s totally different.

Cheating, abusive behavior and lewd remarks have disproportionately affected young women in this dating world. One of the most notorious and insensitive ways to hurt someone online is through “ghosting”. In a conventional relationship, people prefer to meet face to face and break the connection. In an online environment, people simply fade away by slowly “stepping away” from everyday conversations and disappearing into the digital world.

According to a study, “Perpetration and Impact of Digital Dating Abuse” conducted by Melbourne researcher Cynthia Brown, men and women are affected differently. While men are more concerned with their reputation, women start to stress out and have a lot of negative emotions, making them easy prey for manipulative and abusive relationships. She suggested that women are still the target of negative remarks and bad behavior.

A family friend of mine met a guy online and fell in love. Unfortunately, the girl went against her parents’ wishes and left town to meet the guy online. Thanks to a photo posted, the parents learned that she had married an elderly person with a disability. Months later, the girl tried to contact her parents and told them that the guy’s family had created this fake account to find a woman to take care of their son. Before the girl could react or flee, the boy’s family held the girl captive and married her off to their son. Today, the young girl cannot be found, and no one knows where she lives or how she will be able to return to her parents.

Online Dating can be fun, but it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. The recent brutal murder of Shraddha Walker by his residential partner Aftab Poonawala in Mehrauli shocked the whole country. They met on Bumble, and the affair focused on the dark side of dating apps involving many inherent risks.

A “safe” space to find love?

Dating apps
Image credits: Pexels

Fake accounts or “catfishing” have been a grim reality of social media conversations and dating apps. Unfortunately, fear and doubts about the person you meet online will always prevail because the apps don’t focus much on checking a person’s criminal background. However, well-known apps like Tinder have updated their terms and policies to ensure a safe space for singles and increase trust in profile members.

Of course, one has to be careful about these dating apps as they evolve to meet the needs of people post-lockdown. Users will have high expectations for meeting genuine and engaging “new” people. However, it’s obvious that dating apps are here to stay, and these companies need to focus on building a cautious and “safer” space.

The culture of endless swiping can cause you to reject potential love interests and act callously. Ultimately, a person should exercise caution when talking to strangers online. We are all humans who crave connection, and these apps are designed to create an opportunity to meet people with similar interests and values. As an individual, all you can do is trust your gut when meeting people online.

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