According to the Washington Post, 40 million people in the U.S. have tried online dating. In 2012, Zoosk was the most popular online dating site with over 50 million visitors per month. Recent studies report that one out of five relationships start on an online dating website.
Since online dating has become some popular, a new term called "catfish" has surfaced. Catfish can be defined as when a person involved in an online relationship is lied to or deceived. MTV has developed a movie and a reality TV series based on the concept of being catfished. In their reality show, the host helps people in online relationships meet their significant others for the first time. Unfortunately, in most cases, the person is not who they were portrayed to be. Attractive bachelors are actually middle aged women or teenagers portraying a different identity.
Others may find out that their significant other doesn't even exist. The latest example is the publicized scandal of Notre Dame Linebacker Manti Te'o. A friend of Te'o set him up and made up an online girlfriend. The woman was real on Facebook but had no knowledge that her information and photos were being stolen from her social network page; which left Te'o in love with a figment of his imagination.
Don't be catfished like many others. Check out these tips for safe online dating.