Society - Relationships
By: - at January 16, 2013

Fraudulent Dating Through Facebook

Facebook DatingFacebook has become an integral component of the online community and is at the forefront of the social media revolution.  More people are connected and socializing on a daily basis that if left up to traditional social channels may have never even met.  Facebook offers a social outlet and forum where pictures and thoughts are shared.  Even relationships are being cultivated entirely from online interactions making existing internet social streams like instant messenger or chat rooms obsolete.  Before a conversation begins, dating participants have access to tons of information on those they wish to engage socially because of the digital presence users create.  This information about potential partners comes from shared photos, who they are friends with, and a constant online public exposure including status updates and check-ins.  Out of all the available social media tools like MySpace or Google Plus, Facebook is the most popular and by far the most successful.  Similarly to when a consumer uses the internet to gather information before a purchase, singles are gathering information and exploring their options using Facebook as their source.

With all of the information provided by Facebook in user's profiles as well as what people are inferring about other users, there are some negative consequences having to do with Facebook and online dating.

Social Forces at Work

One serious systemic issue that gained national attention when it was featured on the popular television series Dr. Phil, is a phenomenon that combines prostitution with online dating.  A type of prostitution where young men and woman are offering companionship for wealthy singles and are using Facebook to find potential clients.  Woman in dedicated, monogamous relationships are sometimes encouraged by their significant other to look for financial assistance to pay for anything from college tuition to utility bills.  This activity is growing at a pandemic rate where their is a serious difference of opinion.  The young people who are profiting from casual dates with lonely clients see it as a victimless transaction.  There is a dark side however where the ones who are paying sometimes claim that they are a victim of manipulation.  These quasi-prostitutes are saying almost anything to their clients in order to get what they want out of them.  This includes saying that they love them and making them believe that they could actually be together.  With the great recession's impact felt by people from all walks of life, any source of additional income is aggressively sought after due to the rising number of Americans in desperate situations.  Occupations like stripping, bartending, and even prostitution are seeing significant growth.  Many people's standards for employment have become drastically altered due to financial desperation and the fear of financial ruin.  A new spin on the world's oldest profession is gaining popularity utilizing Facebook, as well as other social media networks, in order to locate potential clients.   

Financial Strain and its Affect on Relationships

Online Dating ProblemsProstitution comes in many forms and is not limited to sexual activity in exchange for monetary compensation.  Prostitution can be strictly companionship, and does not always involve sexual intercourse.  This version of prostitution has led many struggling couples to seek outside means in order to improve their lifestyle, and pay for expenses they themselves could not afford.  With the fall of the glass ceiling, many college educated men are finding themselves unemployed and in committed relationships where traditionally their responsibility would be to provide for their female counterpart.  Times have changed and the primary breadwinner often in today's atypical relationship is the woman.  For many men this is a difficult challenge and change to accept.  Young white men who have failed to secure profitable and sustainable employment often blame affirmative action.  Terminology like reverse racism and sexism have been born out of the dramatic demographic changes in the American workforce.

A compromise reached by couples now all in the name of upward social mobility includes some bizarre behavior.  Going on to Facebook in addition to other online dating forums, individuals are putting themselves out there in the hopes of having some sort of financial support by the night's end.  By making false relationships and connections these individuals are opening the door for manipulation where the victim, often an independently wealthy individual who very well could be going into this "date" seeking a lifelong partner, is taken advantage of from the start.  The wealthy individual who is truly seeking love and a long-term partner for marriage is put into awkward situations where they are begged to pay for everything from college tuition, lavish shopping expenses, and anything else their significant other cannot afford.  Using these individuals harms everyone involved, with the integrity of the relationship in constant jeopardy because of lies, deceit, and bad karma.  It turns a couple into a couple of confidence men and although many contend they never cross the line and have sex with the client, it is pretty hard to believe sexual favors are never traded.  Honestly how long could a female string along a young rich man without giving him any kind of sexual exchange?  On the flipside an attractive young male receiving some sort of financial assistance from a wealthier female without any sort of sexual exchange is just as farfetched.

Sex and Financial StrainThese gifts usually start with asking for petty cash, asking to be taken shopping, eating out in the form of a romantic dinner, and going on exotic vacations.  There is an attitude where the offenders see this as a victimless crime and contend that the one they are giving company understood what they were getting into from the start.  Too often on the other side those paying for all of these "gifts" see it as being truly taken advantage of.  How does the one providing all of these "gifts" take legal action?  Most often these wealthy individuals are too embarrassed that they have been taken advantage by a morally bankrupt individual to ever take legal action.  If they did what compensation would they receive provided that the ones who have taken advantage of them truly are broke, and have no means of reimbursing them for any benefits they have received?  When the gig is up the one who is providing quietly backs off and breaks all contact with what they thought was an interested, compatible dating partner.  The financial predator is often left unpunished for their malicious actions, and typically begins the search for another victim picking up right where they left off.

Social Outcomes

This is an extremely scary situation occurring in the human experience and needs everyone's attention.  Sometimes men and woman alike encourage their partners to have sex with what in the confidence game is referred to as the mark, to see what they can get out of them.  This is disgusting and I believe these people should be punished for fraudulent dating.  A term your humble author has made up but what else might we call it?  I see it as almost a form of pandering, pimping, and prostitution.  Traditionally crimes like these are punishable under the law and can be classified as felony charges.  Using anybody for any form of compensation is very dangerous and is an example of truly flawed moral behavior.  It is a well known fact that times may be tough, but where did the willingness to work hard and make your own opportunities for advancement get lost?  Looking for a quick fix or temporary solution has replaced the foundations of hard work and diligence that have made this country great.  Advancements of the twentieth century built on moral fiber and determination have been replaced by individuals taking advantage of some of the last honest  people left.  What happens when there are no more good people left who work hard for their money, and then seek an equal counterpart to share the riches they have worked so hard to achieve?  These are huge questions our society needs to start asking itself and are not limited to issues as arbitrary as dating.  Who is left to pay for these things if no one else works hard and earns their own living?  The incentive to work hard and make a living may be lost if most of our country is receiving some sort of financial assistance provided by the government or from private citizens.

So out of all the issues raised in this article what is the most important to you?  What stands out?  Are you in a relationship that requires outside financial aid from the government?  If so would you pursue outside means as described in this article to make ends meet?  Why and why not?


 

 

 

 

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