In 2017, sometime, Tinder was quite a popular app in South Africa. Many singles who were looking for love or entertainment downloaded the app and would literally ‘shoot their shot’. There are various personal reasons behind why people would find themselves on such platforms. However, with the current climate in our economy, one can’t help but ask if dating apps are still a good idea?
Young adults use apps like Tinder, Bumble, Grinder and Ok Cupid to have ‘fun’. Yes, some people are just looking to have a good time, and usually do not use these apps consistently. I guess it depends on the person and what type of fun they are in for. Unfortunately, there are people who don’t know how to make friends or how to socialize in the real physical world, therefore, they turn to apps to easily break the ice and make it easier to find friends.
Some people use the platform to find sexual partners, their BIO will clearly state that they are looking for “hookups, nothing more/nothing less”. Other people download Tinder, create a profile just to find out if their partner is on the platform which I think is highly unhealthy. Lastly some people are on a mission to find true love, a life partner or their soulmate.
However, in a country like South Africa, are platforms like tinder a good idea? Human trafficking is on the rise and almost every day there is a new face that is posted on social media with the headline “Missing”. According to the South African National Human Trafficking Resource Line, there are many different methods of trafficking. There are cases reported that some people have been tricked into believing that there is a job opportunity waiting for them somewhere. As a result, the victim will find themselves at the wrong place expecting an interview, where there is a plan in place to traffic them. On the other hand, there is a new method called ‘Lover Boy’. The human traffickers operate by trying to make young girls or boys fall in love with them. They basically manipulate you and sweettalk you. These people can do this for months to make it more convincing. Eventually, they invite you to their place and from there abduct you. So there are several aspects of online dating that one needs to reconsider and evaluate before giving it a try.
For those that are still interested in Tinder, here is what you should watch out for:
- Spot the fakes. Check if their pictures are of genuine quality. If the picture is pixilated, that account has a high chance of being a scam.
- If your match doesn’t have a bio, that’s a major red flag. The question is, why can’t you share a few things about yourself, especially if they have only uploaded one image of themselves or several images that don’t show their face.
- Analyse the pictures, check what’s in the background; does it look like a stable environment? Is it not dodgy? (However, don’t judge a book by its cover. But, keep your guard up and always be alert).
Setting up your first date:
- Don’t share your number even if they want to communicate on WhatsApp (keep the conversation on the app).
- Always meet in public spaces for a couple of dates and once you’ve gauged the potential partner, you may move to the next step.
- Do as much research as possible, get his name & surname (try search for social media accounts, YES, stalk him or her and find out everything you can).
I used Tinder in the 2016 but I actually didn’t go on a date because I didn’t know what to expect. I deleted it. I downloaded the app again this year and decided to give it a try & actually be serious about it. Matched a few people and got to know them. Went on my first date which was nice, met a cool guy and didn’t see any red flags, which was lovely. Went on my second date and WOW, it was amazing, felt like I’d known this guy for years. We literally hit it off. Went on more dates with this guy and I think I’ve found my match. Lol, I don’t want to jump the gun, but I think I’ll be off the market for a very, very, very long time – Anonymous.