Social media provides a way for you to meet people of different cultures that you may have never met before. This opens us to the world to learn more about others and to communicate more. Also, this opens the door to meeting potential partners and dates.
Teenagers no longer have to use a corded phone to make a phone call to ask a person out or talk. They don’t have to feel the anxiety of a parent answering the phone first or talking the person over the phone for that initial call. They can simple send a message (many times anonymously) to someone.
How does this impact or change dating?
I think it changes it completely, relationships can be built online before meeting a person. You may think you know the person and that you have a “connection” with them, but do you really know the person or the persona they are portraying?
We in a truly different generation. One that you can have friends from all over the world and never met in person. I personally have friends that I have “met” online that I chat with and sometimes talk to. I have met a few of them in person some are across the globe. Building a community of people who share the same interests is easier than ever.
What happens when things go wrong?
Things can and do go wrong though. You really don’t know if the person you are communicating with is being truthful. Are they really who they say they are? Things can go wrong and become dangerous very fast.
We must teach our children and also remember ourselves that we must always protect our boundaries, we all have boundaries that must be respected. We preach to our children about not giving personal information out, but we must also follow that same advice.
If a real world meeting is going to happen, a very public place and having others with you is a MUST. Approach this with a tremendous amount of caution. We are hearing that this is the new way of dating and see how it is becoming common. We must prepare our children for this.
Everyone has their boundaries and they must be respected.
I am NOT encouraging real world meetings, I am only stating that everyone MUST remember that you really don’t know the person. I think it is critically important that people of all ages understand that you may not really know the person you are communicating with. You only know what is being represented.
What advice would you give someone who is going to meet a person from social media for the first time? Also, should the same precautions be used for any possible additional meetings?