Online Dating

What to Look Out For...

Technology has given youth a type of freedom that never use to exist. It has given them the ability to explore the world around them without even having to leave their rooms. Most parents have had a drastically different up-growing than their children. In the past, discipline was exercised through a simple “go to your room” attitude, however, in today’s society it is slightly more difficult for parents to keep track of what their children are up to.

Madeleine George and Candice Odgers, authors of the article The risks and rewards of being an adolescent in the digital age state that virtual communication has been shown to strengthen the quality of existing relationships. This is one of the many reasons why teenagers engage in online communication.

Adolescence in the digital age – Online dating

The digital age brought positive and negative elements and parents have a right to be concerened about what their children get up to, especially when it come to online dating. Adolescence involves physical, social and emotional growth with romantic relationships being a core focus for most. Research suggests that 57% of teens begin friendships in a digital space.

Amanda Lenhart, Monica Anderson and Aaron Smith, authors of the Teens, Technology and Romantic Relationships posits that tenagers engage in romantic relationships online for the following reasons:

  • Social media helps them feel secure, engaged and connected to their partners
  • Social media is used as a platform to show others how much they care about their partner
  • They feel emotionally closer to their partners

How youth can stay safe with online dating

It is vital to stay alert and have knowledge about online dating. Here are a few tips below about staying safe:

  • Believe it or not, most companies use decoys in order to keep teenagers online. So if you come across one of those too-good-to-be-true profiles, be weary as it could be fake. Limited communication is also a red flag as the service provider may want you to keep logging on in order to see if you received a response yet
  • You cant be in control – Remember that there are a lot of factors that are out of your control. Don’t take it personally if someone you chat to doesn’t want to persue a relationship or meet in person. It is vital not to measure your self worth with online dating
  • People can lie online. Remember that not everyone will have the same values and morals as you. Stay true to yourself and interact with people who share your same interests and values