Last week Match.com vowed to screen new members through sex offender registries. Many states are considering creating online dating safety laws, and some states already have such laws. Several staff members play the game of cyberspace matchmaking, and the question of whether or not to open up to OKCupid’s arrow has certainly crossed all of our minds.
Our staff agrees that the basic rule to follow when meeting up with a stranger from the internet in general definitely applies to online-inspired first dates: always start off by meeting in a public place. Coffee shops are always a safe bet.
Using the same precautions you use with most people in real life (now referred to of course as “IRL” or “analog”) will serve you well—don’t give out your social security number, bank card pin, leave your drink unattended—and as always, be sure to report any suspicious packages. But seriously—just be careful.
It’s always good to let at least one friend know where you’re going—sure, in case of worst “scary internet person kidnapping” types scenarios, but also in case those scientific tools used by dating sites (you know—questions and personality percentages) were off your date is not going as perfectly as you imagined.
Yes, the “oh man, my friend just called and I have to run” act is a cheap trick, but it works as a backup plan.
Overall, our staff are firm believers in the possibilities of internet dating—some of us even met our significant others out there in the vast galaxy of cyberspace. So what are you waiting for? Fill out those About Me and Looking For boxes and maybe soon your virtual dream date will appear.