With the rise in popularity of online dating, there are bound to be some uncharted territories that one may encounter when selecting an app/site, filling out your profile, uploading photos and communicating with matches. Unfortunately many people are still try to learn and catch up to the social norms that govern privacy and etiquette as they interact with complete strangers around them.
Chances are your boss, colleague, classmate, old high school boyfriend or girlfriend, or neighbor is on the same dating app or site as you. Before you go to the Apple Store to download that app or register online for a new account, there are several things you need to be aware of to protect yourself from harassment,embarrassment and awkwardness.
Profiles and Photos
My rule of thumb for privacy in online dating is do not post anything online in your profile that you are not comfortable talking about or showing a friend, family member or even stranger you meet at a bar. This includes embarrassing selfies, posting intimate photos and drunken bachelor / bachelorette party photos. If you are not comfortable sharing this with people you know, why are you sharing this with complete strangers? When in doubt, ask a friend or professional to review your profile. The question you should ask yourself is: “Would I be humiliated if my boss, colleague, classmate, professor or mentor found my profile online?”
Similar to profiles and photos, anything you share in via text or in app messaging can be shared with the world. Think twice about sending any raunchy photos, tone death comments or revealing messages. With screenshots and trolls online, you never know who are dealing with. Do not risk embarrassment or even blackmail. Use good judgment?—?ask questions, set up a call before a date, get to know each other before you start revealing intimate details of your life with a stranger.
As online dating becomes more mainstream, more people will flock to apps and sites and in doing so will reveal more about themselves than ever before. There is nothing wrong with writing about yourself, sharing photos and expressing what you want but think about what you write and post.