I don't know about you, but since "YOU" season 2 came out on Netflix, I haven't been able to stop thinking and/or talking about it. A scene that stands out to me, in particular, is the one where Will — really Joe — goes on a bunch of dates with women from dating apps.
This got me thinking... IMAGINE being on a date with the Joe Goldberg, completely charmed by his smile and good looks, and not knowing he's a serial killer? It really shook me to the core. Because the scary reality is that it's not a completely impossible scenario and the statistics prove it.
Here are 6 scary facts you should be aware of — so you can do your homework, research, and safety checks — before meeting up with any guy you matched with on a dating app:
1. Known sex offenders are using the apps.
Think about it: did Tinder, Hinge, or Bumble do a background check on you when you signed up? No. So they're not background checking others either. In fact, 1 in 10 sex offenders are on dating apps, while 3 percent of online daters are considered "psychopaths." Of course, this is not to scare you away from using the apps, but it is important to use caution before meeting up with any of your matches.
TIP: Do your homework! GET YOUR CYBER-STALKING FRIENDS ON THE CASE! Then, when and if the research is clean and clear, meet up with them and have fun! — in a public place.
2. 53 percent of people lie about their age, height, and/or job on their dating profiles.
According to eHarmony's online dating statistics, 20 percent of women use older photos from when they were younger or thinner and over 40 percent of men have lied about their job and/or income.
TIP: Learn to spot the catfish. Even if it's not explicitly someone using photos of someone else, pretending you have a different career or are shorter/taller/smaller/bigger than you actually are is THE SAME THING. Also, be honest on your profile — don't be the damn catfish, please.
3. More than 60 percent of online daters are married or in a relationship.
Yep, unfortunately, you read that correctly. According to DatingNews.com, 62 percent of people on dating apps — whether you swipe by them or not — are in a relationship and 11 percent of those are even married.
TIP: Do your own background checking. After all, DatingNews.com does point out that marriage certificates are public record.
4. Scams from online dating have cost victims hundreds of MILLIONS of dollars.
NBC News reports that in 2018 alone, victims lost over $143 million from online dating scams. That's TERRIBLE.
TIP: Don't give any of your (bank, Venmo, PayPal, credit card, Social Security, etc.) info out. Even if they say they love you and you "trust" them. Please, oh please.
5. Dating apps have been linked to a spike in STIs.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a rise in sexually transmitted infections has been alarming over the last few years. This is largely in part, "Medical Xpress" reports, because "people are 'more complacent about protection,'" which is especially "dangerous at a time when 'sex is becoming more accessible (through things like) dating apps.'"
TIP: Get tested before you are sexually active with new partners to ensure you don't have anything you could accidentally pass on. Also, ask these 11 important questions before having sex, even if it's a casual hookup.
6. Internet predators commit thousands of abductions and rapes yearly — and hundreds of murders.
"Internet Predator Statistics" reports that there are over 16,000 abductions, thousands of rapes, and hundreds of murders annually from online predators. Needless to say, this statistic is the ones that have been reported/discovered, so numbers are likely (and unfortunately) much higher.
TIP: Before going on a date, talk to the person to learn stuff about them! Use these clues to do some research. If you feel safe and comfortable with what you find (some stalking is healthy and smart, ladies), plan to meet them in a public place. Then, tell a friend or friends where you are going to meet your match so they can help in case of an emergency.
Of course, it's important to note that dating app success stories are FREQUENT and these stats should not scare you out of using them. Rather, these statistics should hopefully make you aware so you're using the apps safely. You know, so you can find your perfect match without worrying so much!
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