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February 14, 2020
Online dating can be stressful.
What profile picture do you use? Who sends the first message after you two match? What’s your opening gambit? What do you talk about to keep the conversation going and find out if you even really like each other?
Online dating can be stressful, but online dating safety shouldn’t be! Let’s explore the ways you can protect yourself while online dating in 2020.
In 2016, 15% of American adults had used online dating sites or apps. In 2020, that number has jumped to 30%. Of that group, 23% of respondents report having actually been on a date with someone they originally met through a site or app.
Of the top dating apps of 2020, the most popular worldwide is Tinder. Other major players across both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store are Bumble, Hinge, Tantan, and Badoo.
“Online dating” used to refer exclusively to websites like Plenty of Fish, Match, or OkCupid. While those sites are still very popular, their market share has been cut up by new the new generation of dating apps like Happn and Coffee Meets Bagel. Online dating safety used to mean, just don’t talk to anybody who seems creepy. There’s a lot more to it these days!
One reason for this change is that, while 3 out of 10 Americans have tried online dating, the online dating scene on apps is ruled by a younger age group. 48% of 18- to 29-year-olds say they have tried online dating, compared to only 38% for 30-to 49-year-olds. That number drops to 19% for ages 50-64. Dating apps are gaining ground as the more popular and accessible option for e-dating among younger age groups.
Extremely important! Regardless of whether you’re using a dating application or a website, the most important thing you can do is to protect your privacy. 48% of women surveyed using online dating said someone continued to contact them after they said they weren’t interested. 46% received unwanted explicit images or words via text message. 33% were called offensive or derogatory names. 11% were threatened with physical harm.
If we look specifically at younger women, these numbers jump even higher. For instance, 60% of female users between the ages of 18-34 say that they received continued contact on a dating site or app after they said they were not interested in talking to the person. 57% of that age group reported receiving unwanted sexually explicit messages.
These are some alarming online dating safety statistics. But, regardless of whether you choose to use a dating website or an app, the best practices for protecting your privacy are the same across the board.
Of course it is! Dating is always stressful, and time-consuming, and completely worth it once you meet that special person. It doesn’t matter if it’s online dating or offline dating, either way, it can be both a hassle and a joy.
But until that time comes and you find your special someone, get your priorities in order. Keep your personal information private, get a temporary phone number, and trust your intuition if something feels “off” about your match. Stay safe out there in the online dating world!
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