Accurate Stories of Dating in the Digital Age [VIDEO]

February 11, 2016

12:30 pm

As we approach Valentine’s Day, we wanted to take a look at some of the more unique situations that can arise as a result of dating apps and dating websites. Granted there is no shortage of creeps found at your local bar, it’s a bit more challenging to catfish someone you are meeting face-to-face.

To learn first hand just how interesting and sometimes terrible the resulting dates are from Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, and the other dating apps can be, we went straight to the source. Washington, DC-based Trustify, a startup making it easier to conduct in depth background checks, was kind enough to lend us some of their team members and friends to share past dating stories.

“There is a lot we don’t know about people we meet online. People can easily manipulate online dating service users with false information that can often put an individual’s safety at risk,” said Trustify cofounder and Vice President Jennifer Mellon.

Granted not all apps and sites are created equal, even the most simplistic of offerings such as Tinder have some safety features. From seeing that you have mutual friends and active social accounts, to controlling who gets to start the conversation (Bumble), there are quite a few ways the apps and sites attempt to encourage positive experiences. For New York City-based Hinge, they focus even more on transparency. 

​”​We’ve seen that anonymity on the Internet has led to people treating each other poorly. At Hinge, we’re focused on creating a transparent, accountable environment where people treat each other like people. That’s why we show first and last names, workplace, only people in your social circles and more​,​” said Hinge Marketing Vice President Karen Fein.

Beyond features and security, here are some crowd sourced red flags to look for in a potential date:

Red Flags on Dating Apps

  1. Someone already put a ring on it
  2. Excessive messaging
  3. Talking excessively about their ex
  4. Immediately sends sexual messages or photos
  5. Posing with dead animals
  6. No photos of themselves
  7. They are shirtless
  8. Lies about career, prior marriages, or education
  9. Stating you are nice and just ready to settle down (stage 5 clinger)
  10. They have an “arrangement” with their significant other
  11. Showing up drunk to the first date

Beyond the red flags, there are some other common methods to put in place prior to meeting up in person.

“It is not uncommon for people to google a potential date. Trustify is able to take that due diligence one step further by using our technology to look into someone’s background,” said Mellon. “We give you the peace of mind that when you’re about to meet a stranger, you’re not putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation.”

So there you have it. If you are looking for an eventful and potentially awkward dating story to tell, ignore the red flags and forget the due diligence. If you are really looking for love in the digital age, google search your intended.

Discloser: I was formally Trustify’s Director of Content Marketing

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Elliot is an award winning journalist deeply ingrained in the startup world and is often digging into emerging technology and data. When not writing, he's likely either running or training for a triathlon. You can contact him by email at elliot(@)elliotvolkman.com or follow him on Twitter @thejournalizer.

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