How To Be Trusting in the Digital World
In most cases, it’s good to have a healthy level of skepticism in life. You don’t want to blindly believe everything you’re told, as it can easily lead to disaster. However, if you’re not careful, that skepticism can easily become paranoia. Then you’ll have a hard time trusting anyone you run into online.
If you’re planning to date, meet up with sellers, or even just casually chat online, it’s a good idea to avoid being too skeptical of the people you talk to. How do you stay somewhere in the middle? Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind.
Let Friendships Progress Naturally
If you’re talking to someone online, whether because you’re interested in a romantic relationship, a friendship, or just because you enjoy talking, it’s important to let the relationship develop on its own. You don’t need to immediately start asking for pictures to prove that the other person is legit, but you also shouldn’t be giving out personally identifying information about yourself. If you start to develop a relationship with that person, that’s when you can start asking for proof of certain things.
One of the most important reasons for this is that by not jumping into things too fast, you can feel out the other person’s intentions. Is the person pressuring you to get close fast? Is he or she giving out far too much personal information? If you start feeling like something is up, that’s when you should start getting suspicious. If you start the relationship with an interrogation, however, you’re much less likely to find success.
Look for Common Friends
Meeting someone through a friend is still worthwhile when it’s on the internet! If you see someone commenting frequently on a friend’s social media posts, and they seem interesting, you may consider sending a friend request. This is a great option since, if the person knows one of your friends, then it’s likely your friend trusts this person. It’s a fast track to trust, rather than skepticism.
Additionally, remember that you might not be that detached from someone you just met. Six degrees of separation, the theory that states that everyone and anyone can be connected in six steps or less, means that the “random stranger” you met might not be so random after all. Of course, you should be careful with giving out personal information. But if your new internet friend mentions working at your old college, it could be worth a few questions.
Check Identity Quietly
Most people are okay with giving out their name and basic residential area. In fact, most dating sites will even have those items listed by default, as will most social media sites. It’s not specific enough to seem dangerous, but it gives every person a level of authenticity. However, this information can still be invaluable when it comes to checking if someone really is who he or she claims to be. You don’t need to ask for someone’s driver’s license or anything else that would make you seem paranoid. All you need to do is use a site like PeopleFinders.
With PeopleFinders, you only need someone’s first name, last name, city and state to help you determine if what they’ve been telling you about themselves is true. With that information, you can perform a public records search and maybe see important information like marriage records, census data and more. All of these you can put together to get a fuller picture of the other person’s true identity. Even better, with the PeopleFinders blog, you can get more inspiration for how to use PeopleFinders in other aspects of your day-to-day life.
When you’re talking with people online, it’s natural to be a little more cautious than usual. There are lots of horror stories out there. However, it’s important to remember that most people online actually are who they say they are. For example, if you’re dating online, you don’t have to be as wary as you may think. Nearly 20% of people today met their significant other online, and many of those relationships are long-lasting and successful.
It’s good to have a healthy amount of skepticism, but not so much that you come off as abrasive or overly suspicious. To check whether your online mate is really on the up and up, you can use PeopleFinders. It strikes the perfect balance between being security-conscious and being paranoid, making it an invaluable tool for those that spend a lot of time online.
Image attribution: leungchopan – stock.adobe.comTags: Communication, Dating, friends, Online Safety, Public Records, Social Media
Categorized in: Culture