Is online dating ok? What to do when ya have an e-crush
I like to chat online. Everyone in the chat rooms has e-BFs and e-GFs. I’ve recently been flirting with this boy. First of all, is it safe to have an e-BF? I mean, I know all the basic rules, like never give out your real name, address, phone number or picture. Second, should I tell him I like him?
Dear Internet Crush,
If you don’t just know the rules but stick to them, it may be safe to have an e-BF. That is, as long as his flirty lines don’t turn to gross ones. But if you ever, ever arrange to meet your crush, you run a serious risk because there have been tragic cases of girls getting kidnapped and abused by online “sweeties.” Let me add that a lesser danger of having an online boyfriend is that it’s too easy in a bogus way. You can type in that you think about him all the time, he can type back the same, and yet, your e-romance is not reality-based. In real life, you might have little in common and not be each other’s type at all. In fact, he might say he’s 14 but actually be 41 and have a thing for young girls! I would not tell this person you like him. Even if you e-mail all the time, you have no clue who he really is. Some creeps on the Internet have mastered the art of sounding young, fun, nice and genuine—but they’re not. That’s what makes it so scary. I think falling for an online guy can spell offline h-e-a-r-t-a-c-h-e or worse. Try to get to know some boys at school instead.