Confessions of a Serial Online Dater

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Hello, everyone.  My name is Morgan.  Audience says:  Hi Morgan.  And I am a serial online dater. 
Now you see, the opening was a false introduction.  This isn't your regular confession in which I discuss something that I might be ashamed of, such as alcohol, drug, or even sex addiction.  Granted, I used to be very ashamed of looking to meet new guys over the Internet because the preconceived notions about online dating are pervasive, even though they are all wrong. 
Preconceived Notion #1Online daters create false identities.
Well actually, this preconceived notion can be true in some cases.  It is very easy to create a different name, background, and even a new appearance over the Internet.  All you need is an active imagination and Adobe Photoshop. 

Countermeasure Whenever you meet someone, it is imperative that you get an actual name from the person.  Depending on how comfortable you are with the person, get a last name also.  Now here is where you do a little detective work:  Look up this person on face book.  Nine times out of ten, if the person was born in the 80s or 90s, he has a face book.  Now what I will say to you next might sound a little bit like stalking but it will save you a headache in the long run:  Yes, a person can copy and paste fake photos to different social networking sites.  However, if the person's identity is true, particularly the appearance, a key indicator that his appearance is valid is by tagged photos.  Or if you really want to do some deep investigation, type his name in Google, especially if he tries to woo you by telling you how accomplished he is.  From Datemyschool (the website that I use), users only gains access by using their college email addresses so at least I can be confident that the person does in fact study or has studied where he says that he did.
Preconceived Notion #2: Online daters are hopeless romantics who are so desperate that they have to go to the Internet to find significant others. How embarrassing!
Countermeasure:  Now, I will let you in on a secret:  I was never a big shot in the love department in both high school and now in college.  But I am most definitely a hopeless romantic and proud of it!  I do believe in fairy tale endings and fateful love affairs.  But why should someone be deemed desperate if she decides to network with people via the Internet?  This is the 21st century.  The Internet connects individuals from Milwaukee to Kuala Lumpur. And besides, online dating is actually a wise choice economically.  Instead of spending $25 to fill your belly, $10 for a movie ticket and God knows what else, you can grab some snacks from your kitchen pantry and just type away to someone who has the same interests as you.  Not to mention, the awkwardness is gone because you aren't face to face with the person.  But still, people argue that technology damages real-life connections, which is true in some cases.  So why not meet the person?  This question brings me to my next point.
Preconceived Notion #3:  If you meet someone from online, you will be raped and hacked into several pieces. 
Once again, this preconceived notion is true but not all of the time.  Before you decide to meet his lucky guy, it is imperative that you establish a rapport.  I would recommend that you talk to the guy for several weeks or months even so that you learn more about this person.  Also, talk with him through various different methods, such as instant messaging and even video messaging.  When it is decided that you are going to meet, make sure you tell a friend and/or family member who you will be meeting and where you will be going.  Be specific.  Always meet in public spaces and preferably in the daytime.  And most of all have fun!
Until next time! =)