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How Much Information Should You Release Before Meeting Someone Off The Internet?

How Much Information Should You Release Before Meeting Someone Offline?

Facebook. Instagram. Snapchat. Twitter. Adam4Adam. Grindr. Tinder. OkCupid. Scruff.

Last week, I was having an early dinner with a girlfriend. I disclosed to her that a man I met through Tinder was coming to meet me at said location. I joked that in case I went missing, she could describe the perp. She proceeded to tell me how she’s never met a date off the internet. I was completely shocked! Ever?! After she checked out my Tindr profile, we discussed the topic. I informed her that before I meet someone from the internet, I dig into their lives via social media. After acquiring their sanity and if they can be accepted socially; I will speak with them on the phone and exchange texts throughout the week until I feel comfortable enough to meet. I credit my sleuthing and skill set from watching every Law & Order: SVU episode. This is how I determine if someone will be problematic. I’ve been right each time.

Still to this day, I fib to my mother on where I’ve met some of the men I’ve gone on dates with. She still believes anyone online is a predator seeking blood. She doesn’t want me releasing any information on social media. She’s of a particular age and I assume she thinks AOL chatrooms are a thing. It’s clear I’ve gone on dates with men I’ve met through social media and dating apps. I am alive and well without a scratch on me. While I can laugh at my mother’s paranoia; I didn’t think that others thought the same way.

This week, I saw a status update from Dorian Davis, a Washington, D.C. based, Social Media expert. Davis writes:

“Maybe it's because I've online dated for so long or because I study the Internet and I'm therefore a lot less paranoid about meeting people from it than others are, but I have no patience for this ‘Let's just talk here indefinitely on the app rather than exchanging numbers because I don't give my number out until I've met people in person and I like to talk here a while before I do that’ thing. Life is finite, dude.”

I couldn’t wrap my head around Davis’ post. I’ve had instances where a closeted man refused to share his social media with me. Fortunately, I have no interest in these “discreet” men so it’s easy to block or ignore. I’ve even encountered some who claim to not have social media! #What?! There have been others who deny me their Facebook or Instagram links, but prefer to text message. If you’re tech savvy, you can do a lot of research with those nine digits. However, I’m quite suspicious of someone who releases no information about themselves. I’m quick to label them, sketchy.

Now, I’m wondering, is being vague a form of protection? Have I written off the one because he didn’t want me to see him cuddling with his niece, his inner circle, or showing off his place of employment? Am I the sketchball in this situation?! I’m just following my Instinct. I want to know you have friends, which sushi roll is your favorite, if you…have a life. This is 2017, nearly everyone is updating their social media each time they use the restroom. The more I think, I begin to ask myself if I’m punishing others for not advertising themselves.

How much information should you release before meeting someone offline? Are you willing to meet someone who gives you nothing? Let me know!