With a click and a swipe, a soulmate can be made for life. On the other hand, it can lead to one’s own demise.
The rise of dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble and Hinge have made finding love, sex or even a friend more convenient than ever. While many are hooked on the quick satisfaction the apps provide, others are wary of using them for fear of their safety.
An anonymous Florida A&M University student recalls her frightening experience using a dating app.
“I met a guy that was literally telling me I was causing him to have bipolar and schizophrenic episodes,” the FAMU student said. “He would be constantly yelling at me or sometimes he would be physically aggressive. My stature, being chubbier than his, is probably the only reason I didn’t get hit.”
She continued using the apps out of optimism but encountered even more dangerous matches.
“I’ve met another guy that met me online and started stalking me with the intention of forcing me to love him and to isolate me from other people,” the student said.
There have been cases of sexual assault, rape and even death that stemmed from interactions using dating apps. Lauren Smith-Fields, a former student at Norwalk Community College, was found dead in her home after a Bumble date. According to The New York Times, Smith-Fields had a match with an older man that ended with them returning to her home and her being found deceased.
Grace Milane was strangled to death by her Tinder date just hours before her 22nd birthday. Milane was traveling during a gap year of school when she landed in New Zealand and matched with her killer. According to Sky News, Jesse Kempson, Milane’s killer, had applied pressure to her neck for about four to five minutes which ended her life.
With the major risks that come with using dating apps, many are trying to stick to traditional in-person interactions.
Zarius Johnson, a junior FAMU student, said he prefers to meet with people naturally.
“I wouldn’t link with people who I can’t confirm,” Johnson said. “The person could be hysterical, violent, or manic. Talk to people in person.”
Bryce Collier, a third-year FAMU student, said to take all precautions when using dating apps.
“I got catfished,” Collier said. “People aren’t what they seem over text. If you are going to link with someone, try to get to know them first. And keep a weapon on you for your safety.”
While dating apps are taking measures to ensure the safety of their users, make sure to be careful when taking a chance like this.