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Are we turning into a society of stalkers?

According to the latest survey hosted on Tantric Club's website, over half the people going on a first date will use some online tool to try and find out as much as possible about their potential first date. I say potential because based on what they find, a date may not ensue. Popular tools used include Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. So what drives people to this type of 'Cyber Stalking'?

In an offline dating arena, whilst people may suspect a white lie, or another, you generally tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. The liaison will continue if you connect with that person and intuitively it feels right. However, for many people when it comes to online dating they almost start from a position of being wary without having met that person. Why? Because it's easier to read someone face-to-face, rather than from a photograph and a string of unverified words. Consequently, for peace of mind you may try and Google or Facebook a person to validate their photograph and the information that they have disclosed on their profile. In fact, according to statistics published by the Telegraph late last year:

The top 3 lies told by men on their online dating profile are:

1. Job (better than it is)
2. Height (taller)
3. Weight (losing or gaining a few pounds)

Top 3 lies told by women on their online dating profile are:

1. Weight (losing a few pounds)
2. Age (losing a few years)
3. Physique (toned)

When I read this, the lies were almost ironic and in a totally absurd way justifiable. Women are attracted to partner’s who can provide them with financial security & stability, as well as support their future offspring. A man’s height is also important to some (note: not all!) women and certain physiques are also conventionally deemed as attractive. Who said men do not know what single women want? But whilst physical attraction is also important to women, men are by their very nature more visual creatures. And for a change, it appears that women also know what single men want – hence their lies to portray themselves as a ‘very’ attractive potential mate.

Given the results above, it's not surprising that people are driven to cyber stalking. Although for some, it can still be quite uncomfortable. They are going against their personal belief system of not taking a person at their face value. Whilst arguably cyber stalking may help to identify whether someone is being sincere or not, this practice is not without its pitfalls. One could risk making an irrational judgement from a Facebook photograph, or misconstrue a comment taken out of context. Similarly, if there are gaps, or missing information on someone's Linkedin profile, whilst there may be a plausible explanation there’s a risk of it being misinterpreted.

The rise of cyber stalking a potential first date is due to the lies that people tell online. Unfortunately, it is a common practice and genuine people can suffer as a result. Honesty is the cornerstone of all healthy & successful relationships, if you start off on a lie you’re sabotaging a potential relationship before you’ve even met that person. Bearing that in mind, how does your online dating profile fare? Furthermore, if you do partake in cyber stalking, just think for a moment whether your social online presence accurately represents all facets of your life? Would you be happy for a stranger to judge you solely based on your social networking pages? Personally, I know I wouldn’t, which then begs the question of would it then be fair to judge someone else in this way?

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I can relate to this article and the temptation of looking online before going on a date. I recently got sent a woman's photo and details through family. When I turned up on the date, she was much heavier than her photo had led me to believe. Whilst I may still have agreed to meet her if she had sent a photo of what she really looks like today, immediately I thought well if she's lying about her appearance what other lies is she going to spin down the line. If you can't trust someone from the outset, there is no future.
I'm not surprised by these lies, I have met people from online dating sites, who do not look like the photograph and are certainly not an athletic build. It's a waste of my time and their time as nothing more will come of it.


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