Using Technology to find love: a short guide to online dating

Take it or leave it, February is the month of love, so it will always be a special month for anyone who chooses to celebrate love in a special way.

As social beings, the human race is wired to seek companionship. Depending on your orientation, a special person could be an individual or more.

If you’re trying to figure out how to find love in 2022, technology might be the special piece you need to achieve success. 

As with most things, technology has made finding and connecting with people you consider suitable partners easy. 

Tinder, Hinge, Facebook, and several other platforms exist to help people build meaningful relationships.

Online dating platforms boast about 50 million users collectively. Users are categorized by location, making it easy to access people in your preferred location.

There are several benefits of finding love through the online dating route. The obvious benefits include; 

High probability of finding a match: You have a higher chance of finding love on a dating platform with 100k – 10 million users in your area than on your street. With dating sites, you’re spoilt for choice. 

Ease of use: A smartphone and internet connection is all you need to access a dating platform, teeming with singles looking to mingle (pun intended).

On dating sites, there won’t be awkward hellos and first meetings. You can choose who you want to interact with and be confident that everyone on your radar is interested in a relationship. 

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It is affordable: This benefit is high on the list of the advantages of online dating. Choosing the online dating route saves you the cost and stress of planning dates to hang out with someone just to learn if you like them or not. 

You can have your first date conversations over the phone – chat, voice, or video call. Afterward, you choose if you want to take things further. 

It is flexible: As you already know, with online dating, connecting and starting a conversation with a potential love interest only requires a smartphone and internet.

Also, you can connect with potential lovers through a computer or SMS. Online dating offers good flexibility that you don’t get offline.

All this flexibility allows you to control the pace of your communication. Whether you want to increase or stifle communication is up to you. 

That said, there are downsides to online dating. If you intend to use online dating to find love or a meaningful relationship, you should be aware of these disadvantages.

Cons of Online dating

1. Misrepresentation (People could lie): In a bid to get more attention and clicks, some users can falsify their information so that everyone thinks highly of them. 

Since most online dating platforms lack the technology to verify personal/lifestyle information, a deceitful person could easily create a false image.

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Age, height, weight, job, travel experience, and location are some details that fake people can falsify. So, you must be careful when reviewing profiles and choosing a potential match.

It is up to you to sieve the trash from the good stuff. 

Being able to identify a fake profile will save you the trouble of dealing with a shady person. 

How to spot a fake profile on a dating site

How to spot a fake profile on a dating site
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Over embellished (or sketchy) profile: When you find a profile that looks too good to be true, it is most likely a fake profile. 

Fake profiles are designed to attract a certain type of people. Depending on the motive, a fake person could pose as an affluent individual to attract people of the same class. 

In other cases, they can provide information that suggests that they are religious or disciplined to attract people looking for a stable relationship. 

That said, you should also apply caution when you find an interesting profile with sketchy information. The sketchiness may arouse interest; after all, we all love a good mystery, but that doesn’t apply to basic information.

When it comes to searching an online dating platform for love interests, the rule of thumb is “don’t believe things at face value.” You must perform extensive background checks before trusting an online acquaintance with sensitive information about your personal life.

You don’t have to be psychic to spot a fake profile on a dating site. All you need is a filter/process for validating the information on a profile.

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For instance, fake people usually have a thin social media footprint. Imagine meeting a doctor with 5-years of experience who doesn’t have a LinkedIn or just opened a Twitter and Facebook account 2 months before you met them. This is a red flag, and you should ask questions about their history before coming online. 

Why were they offline all this time? Do they have a strict religious background that prevents them from using social media? Do they have an anti-social trait?

You may be tempted to explain away the light social media footprint by saying that some people don’t like social media or use it actively. That may be true, but someone tech-savvy enough to use an online dating site must have some experience with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Your prospect doesn’t need 100,000 followers to qualify as an experienced social media user; a simple, longstanding presence would do.

So the lighter the digital footprint, the more likely it is that the individual is using a fake profile. 

Overly forward and outright flirty: You can always tell when someone is outright flirty and overly forward. Here is a situation to paint a good picture to put us on the same page. 

Imagine clicking on a profile you find interesting. After the courteous hello and preliminary introduction, you get a lengthy message from the love interest that professes their undying love or shares deep sexual desires or personal fears about romance. 

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In such a situation, you should feel uneasy. Why is this person opening up this way? Is this a dependent person? Are they being mushy?

There are other similar situations where you should feel suspicious. Perhaps your love interest asks you out on a date after 24 hours of chatting and then pushes for a sleepover. This may come off as a spontaneous move, but it may not be the case. 

In any of the above situations, it is better to err on the side of safety and self-preservation. Online or offline, good relationships and trust are built over time. So don’t rush things with anyone, no matter what.

Conclusion

Following these simple rules can save you a lot of heartaches. Since dating platforms don’t have the technology to identify users who falsify their personal information, they rely on other users to report fake profiles for them to be removed. So anytime you spot a fake profile on a dating site, you should report the profile after you’ve confirmed that it is indeed fake.

There is no comfort in knowing that dating sites are littered with fake profiles, but it is what it is, and you should be prepared. 

The issue of fake profiles and fake people doesn’t just exist online; it is around us. As you’ve learned how to spot a fake profile on a dating site, you have to learn how to identify fake people or individuals with sinister motives. Good luck!

Ifeanyi Joseph Okondu is a Product Manager, technical writer, and creative. Connect with him on LinkedIn

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