Online dating may no longer be taboo, but there's still the nagging question of safety associated with meeting someone over the internet.
Sure, some dating websites may begin screening their users, but in the land of "I'm-a-20-something-who-can't-pay-for-a-membership-or-for-your-fancy-background-checks" there's another alternative: total internet recon.
Yes, Google searching and Facebook stalking is good for more than just tracking the news on your former flames. In fact, the folks at JDate conducted a poll of their members to find out just how they gather information before meeting their online-interest in person. 3 Critical Online Dating Tips For Women
Of the nearly 500 users surveyed, a whopping 59 percent of them use a combination of Facebook, Google and LinkedIn for investigative purposes. This makes a lot of sense—scan some photos, look for red flags in your search results and make sure your date has been honest about their work history. 10 Twitter And Facebook Dating Red Flags
Some still stick to one platform—27 percent use Facebook only, 13 percent use Google only—but some searching is done nonetheless.
Now, the concept of "online stalking" is nothing new, but I must convey some words of caution for all of you research-crazy daters out there. Yes, knowledge is power, but don't spoil all of the mystery. Try and limit your pre-date investigation to a few basic questions. Ask yourself: Will I feel safe? Is this person an axe murderer? Is he going to dress like Marty McFly? Once you've squared all of that away, leave some room for on-the-date discovery.
On that note, also try and keep an open mind with some of your discoveries (as a relationship writer, my Google results include stories about lube and flatulence-filtering underwear. Date me! Date me!)
Do you do extensive recon before meeting someone in person?
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