How to Avoid a Stalker While Visiting Online Dating Websites

programmer on a computer

In present times, no one is oblivious to the power of the internet. From learning cooking recipes to making new friends online, there is no aspect of our lives that has been left untouched by the internet. It is the comfort and convenience of the net that has made it so popular worldwide. It is oh-so-convenient for everyone to sit on their easy chairs with a mug of coffee and know all that is happening around the world just at the click of a tiny button. There is no aspect of our lives that has been left untouched by the power of the internet. This includes our married and dating life as well.

As of late, online dating has become a rage. With sites like Tinder and Match, it has become very easy for people to register online to try finding the person of their dreams. The anonymity these sites provide makes them all the more comfortable for an individual to find their prince or princess charming. However, there are always two sides to a coin.

While dating sites can be fun, they also prove to be a breeding ground for stalkers and psychotic criminals, who register online, mainly looking for their next vulnerable victim. Many times innocent victims unknowingly succumb to the charm of the stalkers, hence suffering a lot in the process. Such doings can prove to be very dangerous and even fatal at the time. Here we have a few tips for you to avoid a stalker while visiting an online dating website:

  • Block anyone suspicious: The moment you get an inkling that a person is going an extra mile to charm you or is trying to become your friend by force, block him or her immediately. Also, make sure to report the profile for the safety of others as well.
  • Don’t accept request randomly: Whenever you get a friend request, don’t accept it immediately. Make so to visit the person’s profile first. After that, run a search on him or her on Google to verify whether the images used are real or fake. Only after a thorough search should you accept a request, else avoid.
  • Keep the chats restricted to the website only: Make sure to keep your chats restricted to the website only. Never share your phone number or talk to mobile apps for your own safety.
  • Meet in a public place: When you decide to meet the person in real, make sure to meet him or her in a crowded public place. Never meet the person in an isolated location.
  • Take a friend along: Make sure to take a friend along on your first date if you choose to date online. Never meet a person whom you don’t know all alone for the first time.
  • Do not share your address or other personal details: Make sure not to share your address or other personal details with a person. You may repent later. Also, make sure to never share your intimate pictures with anyone online, which he or she may use to trouble you later.

scared female teenager with computer laptop suffering cyberbullying harassment

It is better to be safe than sorry! All the best!

 

Tinder…The Time Sucker

Text messaging

The average user time on Tinder is 77 minutes. If your thumb is tired from all that swiping, here’s a list of other things you could do with all that time.

We all know dating apps are widespread and pretty much a necessary evil to let other humans know we’re good to go. What we just discovered, according to a study by the company Carvaka, is that the average user time on Tinder is 77 minutes. 77 MINUTES! Now we know why millennials’ thumbs cramp up so much.

According to the NY Times, Tinder has about 50 million users. And, Carvaka says mobile dating apps are used predominantly by 18-24 year olds – 22% of them to be exact.  That’s a ton of people and a lot of swiping happening simultaneously.

But, does there ever come a point in time when it becomes frustrating to swipe? Don’t your eyeballs get tired of looking at face after face after face? Don’t you get bored, or need to take a snack break? Well, it seems like 77 minutes in, most people do.

Just in case, here’s a list of other things you could do in 77 minutes!

  1. Take a nap.

Just because you’re snoozing doesn’t mean you’re losing out on all the Tinder fun. It will be there when you wake up, trust me.

  1. Better yet, JUST GO TO SLEEP ALREADY.

Get that extra hour or so you know your body needs to prepare for your busy day ahead.

  1. Podcasts, people.

Find a new podcast to listen to. There are emotional yet funny ones like Chris Gethard’s “Beautiful Anonymous.” You can even get your female empowerment on with “Call Your Girlfriend” or just straight up educate yourself with “Stuff You Should Know.”

  1. Young woman using letterpress stamps to create messageMake a scrapbook.

Or, if you’re not into old fashioned scrapbooking, create a photobook online. Sites like Shutterfly or Montage make it super easy to customize your own beautiful creation for someone and put all those Instagrams to good use! Plus, it’s a great gift idea for the holidays.

  1. Take a long walk and watch the sunset.

Most of us don’t spend enough time outside, unplugged, enjoying the sights and sounds around us.

  1. Update your resume & LinkedIn profile.

You know you need to! Plus, if your job requires it, it’s also a good idea to start an online portfolio to showcase your work. Or, just spruce yours up if you already have one.

  1. Clean your email inbox.

This includes deleting, filing, archiving, etc. the contents. Your life will feel much more organized, even if it’s only “digitally” clean for the time being. You’ll thank me later.

  1. Volunteer to serve a meal at a soup kitchen.

It’s amazing what a little perspective can do when we get out of our digital lives and into the real world by doing something kind for others. Plus, it doesn’t take a ton of time to do something compassionate like this.

  1. Crosswords & comics.

Basically, try your best to do anything “old fashioned” that doesn’t involve swiping on your phone.

  1. Create a list of all the things you like about yourself and put it on the fridge.

Being your best version of yourself starts with being your own #1 supporter. Teach that voice in your head to always motivate and be positive, even on your worst days. It may seem silly, but starting with a visible list is a simple, effective way to make this happen.

  1. Revive the art of the handwritten card.

Write and send a few handwritten thank you notes or holiday cards. Receiving one will brighten someone’s day and it’s totally better and more personal than sending them a text or an email. Plus, writing on cute stationary is fun!

  1. Young woman using mobile phone in cafeFinally make that phone call to an old friend.

We all have those calls we’ve been meaning to get to, those long “catch up” conversations we need to have with someone. So, make the call – it will be worth it to hear that voice on the other end of the line. Friendships and relationships are important, so cherish and foster them.

  1. Actually socialize with a person!

Meet a long lost friend for happy hour (preferably drinks with tequila). Human interaction is good for you.

  1. Clean a junk drawer.

It’s therapeutic. Tackle the mess in such a fashion it would make Marie Kondo, the expert of decluttering, proud. While you’re at it, maybe just go ahead and clean your whole living space if you need to.

(From Never Liked It Anyway, the number one destination for all things break-ups and bounce-back! It’s the place to buy, sell and tell all things ex! Sell your breakup baggage, tell your story and join the community of rock stars bouncing back better than ever! )

My Short Bout With ‘Internet Withdrawal’

 

TS-478005577 Computer addiction2By Katherine Sharma

Is “Internet withdrawal” a real thing? I know that I experienced a sense of helpless isolation and frustration last week when my Internet connection became sporadic (until a cable tech fixed a faulty connection). As someone who actually remembers the days before computers, it is astounding to realize how dependent on technology we are in our daily routines, our communications and our work life.

With unreliable Internet service, I had to scurry to support my marketing consulting clients, and some projects were necessarily delayed. Various transactions and communications for my daughter’s wedding were disrupted. I didn’t get my blog post done because it was prioritized below work. But most projects still proceeded, and social communications and e-mail responses were handled via smartphone.

TS-504134199 Students on ComputersYes, there was an underlying, anxious sense of disconnection, but it hardly seemed a symptom of a deeper disorder. In fact, per Wikipedia, Internet Addiction Disorder is a term coined in a satirical essay by Dr. Ivan Goldberg in 1995 and then taken seriously by researchers and, of course, the media, who have since produced new terms like problematic Internet use, compulsive Internet use, Internet overuse, pathological computer use and even iDisorder. All refer to Internet use that interferes with normal life–such as excessive computer game play, online gambling, porn viewing, shopping, constant social networking or workaholic behavior–to the extent that folks experience anxiety, depression and withdrawal symptoms similar to drug users if they go offline. It is not an official mental disorder in the Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders yet, but that doesn’t stop the media from headlining various studies documenting “Facebook addiction,” “Internet withdrawal” and its cousin “mobile phone withdrawal.”

In 2014, a Business Insider story noted that workaholics especially suffer withdrawal symptoms when cut off from the Internet (because they can no longer work 24/7). To be honest, maybe because, unlike my kids, I have lived in a world without digital technology, I soon banished anxiety over my temporary Internet loss with old-fashioned versions of Internet-enabled activities, like reading and face-to-face socializing. Frankly, I don’t think it’s the Internet that is the problem, except as a tool making it easier to indulge the real addictions: gambling, porn, workaholism, shopaholism, etc. But if you think you are afflicted by Internet dependency, maybe you should check out http://www.psychguides.com/guides/computerinternet-addiction-symptoms-causes-and-effects/

ABOUT  KATHERINE SHARMA

Katherine Sharma’s family roots are in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. But after her early childhood in Texas, she has moved around the country and lived in seven other states, from Virginia to Hawaii. She currently resides in California with her husband and three children. She has also traveled extensively in Europe, Africa and Asia, and makes regular visits to family in India. After receiving her bachelor’s degree. in economics and her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Michigan, Katherine worked as a newspaper and magazine writer and editor for more than 15 years. She then shifted into management and marketing roles for firms in industries ranging from outdoor recreation to insurance to direct marketing. Although Katherine still works as a marketing consultant, she is now focused on creative writing.