(2011 Leger marketing survey)
Since most of our days are spent gazing into a screen anyways, making a connection online can almost feel like second nature to us. In addition, showing interest in someone online is less nerve wracking than going up to them in person and it can make you feel like you have less to lose if you get rejected.
All the unnecessary fuss, the “let’s see where it goes” and the relentless efforts to get out of the friend-zone are thrown out the window with online dating. The rules change. You no longer keep their interest by sharing with them as little as you can, but instead you allow them to delve into what makes you, really you. Through profiles and questionnaires, you get a good sense of how people describe themselves. You can meet people with similar interests, hobbies and intentions. In addition, people belonging to specific cultural., religious, queer, ability or other minority communities may also find ease and greater accessibility in this approach.
Communicate politely. It’s amazing how people change when communicating through the “anonymous” nature of the Internet. If you are interested in someone, let them know in a way that is not demeaning. Instead, take genuine interest in the pieces they have shared on their profile. If you tried to reach out to someone, but they are not interested in you, do not be aggressive in your response.
Keep some anonymity, but don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Don’t give out personal information like your last name, address or any sort of financial information.
Be respectful of the other person’s boundaries and understand that they might have different intentions. Try to find out from their profile what their intentions are. If they match yours, strike up a conversation. If you are unsure, ask them – don’t just assume they are going to have the same intentions as you.
Listen to your instincts, if something seems fishy, it probably is. Try to assess if your intentions are a good match. Ensure that their facts and stories line up. And, be weary if they are intrusive in their approach.
Think safety first, meet in a busy, public places like coffee shops, or the Student Centre are appropriate, and tell a friend about the details of your date/meet-up. It might also be helpful to keep in touch with a friend throughout the meet up through text.