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Kita berkenalan hanya dalam laman muka buku Kau hantar pesan suruh aku terima kamu Ooh hati ku rasa sesuatu Dan pabila kau kata kau mahu jumpa aku Ku gelisah berdebar hati rasa tak menentu Oohh kenakah rasa itu Bagaimana harus bersua Ku rasa gementar tapi bahagia Perlukah kita cari peluang pertama Walaupun kita tak pernah berjumpa (Lyrics “Cinta Muka Buku by Najwa Latif”)

Introduction

Online dating became popular beginning in the early 2000s. As a result, finding dates, love, and relationships online became an alternative to the traditional way of dating. Although creators of dating websites initially intended for it to be for those – who are 18-years-old and above, many teens are resorting to online dating.

Teens create relationships via the Internet with people they do not personally know and this can lead into a romantic, but sometimes dangerous relationship between two young strangers. As teens become romantically involved online, they are potentially putting themselves and their families in danger. As with any online exchange, there is no guarantee that the person on the other end is being honest. Predators can approach unsuspecting teens, especially teen girls, with little effort. Recently there have been many Malaysian teenagers being raped by acquaintance they just meet on the Internet or Facebook (FB). The teens don’t seem to be aware of the dangers of going out with people they hardly know, some of them don’t even seem to know the full name of their dating partners and their whereabouts.

Safety Considerations

The greatest disadvantage to online dating is that it is easy for people on “the other end of the computer conversation” to lie. Unfortunately, the anonymous nature of these websites and chat rooms leads to potentially dangerous situations when it comes to dating, especially for teenagers. You never know who is at the other end of a conversation, and it is important to remember this when getting to know a person online.

The following are some ways to avoid potentially dangerous situations:

  • Do not give anyone personal information about yourself.
  • Talk on the phone, you are less likely to be fooled by a person’s age or even gender. Be cautious. Be careful about giving out your phone number. Insist on calling the other person, and be sure to block your number ahead of time.
  • Be open about the people you meet online. Talk to friends and family about someone you are interested in on the Internet. Sometimes it is easier for someone you know well to tell if something suspicious is going on.
  • If you do decide to meet the person you have been dating online, be sure to meet in public places. You should also take someone along with you. For example, you could agree to meet at a baseball game and each one of you could bring some friends along.
  • Make your profile picture conservative. The pictures that you post online can be downloaded and used by people that you don’t know.

Communicate With Your Parents

  • It is important that you are open and honest with your parents about your online dating.
  • Your parents have been teenagers before and they know what dating is like. They can offer sound advice to teenagers about dating and can also help prevent some of the most common dangers associated with online dating.
  • Before you meet-up with anyone that you got to know online, make sure that your parents know where you are going.

Tips for Parents

  • Talk to your teen about the dangers of dating someone they only know online.
  • Set rules for dating and discuss them with your teen.
  • Check your teen’s profile often. Remove inappropriate pictures and posts.
  • Use a filtering program to monitor your teen’s Internet activity.
  • Do not let your teen have the computer in her room. Keep it in a place where you can periodically monitor her activities.
  • Enforce the rules. If you think your teen is doing something inappropriate online, take immediate action to stop it.
  • If your teen wants to meet someone she met online in the real world, go with her. If you don’t, she will do it on her own. Going with your dating-teen is the only way you will know she is safe.
Last Reviewed : 14 November 2013
Writer : Dr. Hargeet Kaur A/P Basant Singh