The dangers of online dating

By Kevin McLaughlin
March 26, 2020

Amanda Lynn, junior special education major, could have nearly been a victim to an online predator. Lynn, only 18 years of age, at the time was spending her time on vacation in Ocean City, Maryland. What was supposed to be an unforgettable trip on senior week certainly had a flaw added to it by one bad night-time experience.

Lynn was single during her experience and was perfectly fine with using a dating app throughout the week to match with anyone in the local area. “I was bored and wanted to try something new,” Lynn said. “It was a way I could meet up with a guy pretty easily.” Lynn spent some time on the app throughout the night and not much luck unfolded for her. “I was able to get matches, but the conversations I was having went nowhere at all,” Lynn said. “It was definitely annoying to say the least.”

Image result for amanda lynn cabrini
Photo by Cabrini Athletics of Amanda Lynn

The following morning, Lynn decided it was time to go back on the app and figure out if there was someone willing to meet up. “Finally there was a match that didn’t play games and actually had an interest in what I had to say,” Lynn said. The Tinder match that Lynn received went by John. “There was no last name on his profile and I really didn’t think much of it,” Lynn said.

Lynn decided after about 20 minutes of discussion time it would be fine to meet up on the boardwalk. “I texted my friends to let them know where I was in case something went wrong,” Lynn said. Lynn waited on the boardwalk for about 15 minutes until her date showed up to greet her. “He looked pretty much exactly like his pictures,” Lynn said. There appeared to be nothing off-putting about him in the slightest. Though many men and women try to upgrade their pictures for social media, his were not.

John appeared to be pretty normal. There were basic questions they’d ask one another and he appeared to be a decent gentleman with good intentions. “Everything was fine and we walked along the boardwalk for a while just getting to know each other,” Lynn said. “He was a little awkward but seemed sweet enough.”

All of a sudden things began to take a rough turn. “Out of the blue he asked for me to have sex with him,” Lynn said. “I really didn’t know what to say because I was so shocked.” Though everything seemed to be fine it was not.

Lynn tried avoiding that question but John asked again. Lynn grew tired of it and told him he needed to slow his role. “I just met this kid and he’s already asking me this,” Lynn said. “I told him no repeatedly and wanted to get away from him.”

Eventually, Lynn walked away and had enough of the repeated sexual questions John would ask her. “He asked me to come back a few times but I felt too uncomfortable,” Lynn said. “It might not sound that bad now but it really made me nervous and uncomfortable.”

Lynn still uses the app to this day but is extremely cautious with who she goes out to meet. Not everyone has the intentions they may write to you on social media. Although she was lucky and did not experience anything traumatic, there are many people that unfortunately have.

25 percent of rapists encounter their first victim on free dating sights. Every year there are an estimated 16,000 abductions, over 100 murder cases and over 1,000 rape cases. A recent study has also found. that  62 percent of online daters are already in a relationship. At least 11 percent are already married.  

It is evident that not everyone is who they appear or say to be. Online dating can be genuine and safe. However, many times there are instances where that is not the case. The cold hard facts are what should make people rethink their decisions  to meet up with strangers.



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Kevin McLaughlin

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