In pursuit of excellence, I’ve interviewed 100s of online dating folks, both men and women, and it is just fascinating how different ethnic groups, religious affiliations, ages, regions and types of people view the process. Still the most interesting part of this process to write an Online Dating eBook has been to study its history. One well-researched online dater explained how it was back in the beginning, early to mid-90s, specifically just how quickly the system was abused by daters hiding behind their keyboards, my acquaintance explains:
“Way back in the days of Compuserve, there were a few of guys who were using multiple logins. One would contact their “mark” in a very sexual manner, the other in a very upright/romantic manner, or perhaps other specific approaches. Oddly, it was men they were targeting, getting them all hot and bothered sexually so they could reveal the guy had been talking to a man the whole time. It was wacky. I’m really not too interested in the nutty folks; I’ve really met some very nice guys.”
There are whole firms that help protect Corporation Brand Names by infiltrating forums and chatrooms to quell complaints, and Political Operatives have the same folks out making it look like there are huge numbers or a ground swell of support for something when there isn’t. Our own CIA did this during the Arab Spring in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and of course these are all Cold War tactics, and guerrilla warfare strategies using a new “social media” medium. In the stock market the SEC is constantly catching “Pump and Dump” schemes in the pink sheets and penny stocks. What do they say, “You can believe none of what you hear, some of what you read, and most of what you see?”
And although I enjoy spy novels, and believe to first look to Occam’s Razor, it’s also wise to be mindful of all the techniques of smarty-pants humans thinking they can play games. They are out there, and I just assume they are all over the dating sites. However, when you physically meet people, you can fairly easily ascertain their true intentions.
I’ve always thought that it would be nice if everyone had to verify themselves online, and I’ve heard the arguments from the EFF and others as to why anonymous use of the Internet ought to be allowed to ensure freedom of speech, and the calling out of corruption, sometimes I think that it does a disservice to the trust in such a wonderful communication system.
I am certain neither of is surprised by any of the activities online from the Russian Bride scam to the US citizen Afghanistan Contractor scam asking lonely wealthy ladies for money. What I cannot understand is how anyone would be stupid enough to fall for that crap?
Yes, I’ve met some really nice gals too, people I will probably be friends with for life, even if we are not compatible as a couple. I’ve even helped network people together for business, or things they are trying to do in their lives, since I have a large network of friends. It’s too bad the scams and game-players, they kind of ruin it and make everyone shy, afraid, or paranoid – of course, just because you are paranoid on a dating site doesn’t mean someone isn’t trying to scam you right?