Digital love: the new Darth Vader of dating?

While many people swear by online dating it’s not all sunshine and rainbows – from catfishing to harassment the dangers of online dating are forever growing.

From Tinder to Hinge, online dating is the new road to romance. Dating apps held popularity before the global pandemic; however, due to the forced isolation, it experienced an expeditious explosion. The development of these platforms has allowed billions of single individuals to find their special someone. The evolution these apps have produced has forever changed the face of dating – leaving the beginnings of many modern love stories online.

Yet, is this new dating style all it’s cracked up to be? While more and more singletons jump to these platforms, multitudes of nightmarish stories seem to be surfacing. From fraud to abuse, the dark side of dating is assuredly being exposed.

Every year, the police receive millions of calls and grievances regarding harassment, identity theft, financial fraud, and in extreme cases, sexual assault, missing people, and murder. These fears are particular to women, who experience a disproportionate amount of abuse and aggravation – categorically from straight men. Research by the Pew Research Centre reported women daters between 18 and 35 had experienced high incidences of physical harm. The publicity of such cases has been sending alarm bells, but with the platform’s popularity dominantly increasing, correlated with dating excitement, singletons are continuously pressing the snooze button.

“I was often asked for sexual favours before someone even said hello, before someone told me their actual name,” Shani Silver explained to the BBC.

When looking at the future of online romance, the consensus in solutions returns to users being more aware and careful – but should these platforms take responsibility and confront this dark side, creating superior protection for their consumers?

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