Now I wouldn’t call myself a subject matter expert on meeting people online but I do have a fair amount of friends or acquaintances that are friends or acquaintances because of twitter, instagram, this blog, maybe snapchat and other social media spaces. Fun fact, I once “dated” a girl online for almost 2 years if my memory serves well without ever meeting her. This was in the days of yahoo messenger and myspace before I ever had a Facebook account. I was in Nigeria, she was in the US. We bonded over our mutual love for Eminem. Yes he of Marshall Mather LP. Great rapper but I think I stopped paying attention after Slim Shady Show. I eventually came to the US within this time but we never got to meet. Don’t judge! I was 16, finished secondary school and was bored at home. The cybercafe was my friend and I was applying for colleges.
Anyway, that is by the way. Today’s PSA (public service announcement) comes courtesy of something I read the other day about a guy getting raped by someone they met on facebook. If I remember the story right, they guy met the person on Facebook who he thought was a girl and they chatted a while before agreeing to meet. When they met, he found out the person he had been chatting with was a man and he got anally raped by the other man. So in service to the greater good and public safety I decided to leave a few tips to meeting people online
Never give out too much information – This is the duh of tips. It pays not to put all your details online. Even if you work for a poo recycling company, you never know in this world of immense inequality and poverty if your poo recycling job makes you a baller in the eyes of others. Baller = kidnap/robbery candidate, don’t blame me for thinking so, I have been in the Niger Delta too long (shade thrown!). Now I know they tell you not to tell lies in church, mosque or babalawo school but you gotta life or at least obfuscate the truth. My theory (Dont tell my priest!) is that every good lie is based on a foundation of truth. As far as I know that theory is copyrighted lol. If you going to lie about what you do to protect yourself then you better base it on the truth. If you are a high ranking manager at an oil firm, you could play it down as you are a temporary staff on a short contract in the energy industry. Make it vague or use broader categorization, don’t give specifics and if the person pushes for specifics tactically change the topic.
Communicate on multiple platforms – When you meet someone on social media and all the time you stick to that particular medium that you met the person on it is easy for them to tell you stories for the gods. If you met on Facebook, ask for their number to chat on whatsapp, give them a call, engage them on snapchat. Basically have a 360 view of them from communicating on different platforms. I have seen situations where people’s snapchats give you a better picture of who they are than when you chat them up on whatsapp or Facebook.
Engage you inner stalker – Now if someone gives you a number, do a quick search on true caller. You might get a name. Now use that name and search them on Facebook or do a google search. Typically something comes up. If you find a profile or something you can search friends and do reconnaissance on pictures and so on to give you a picture of this person. If you have access to secret service people, have them do a background check on said person. It is a matter of national security! Bahd Baddo Baddest! If you can ascertain somewhere they are, you can go and incognito scout them out without introducing yourself.
Meet in public spaces – If you must meet this person in real life, suggest a public place like an eatery, a crowded cinema hall or shopping mall. Never go for the place the person suggested even if it is a public place. Make a counter suggestion. And if you do go to meet this person, especially the first time go with a friend or two. This achieved two things, makes it slightly less awkward because conversation will flow because you are more than one person. It also helps with the vetting process because your friend or two will help vet this person. Now that vetting can be a case of damn he/she is hot or damn something is amiss with this person’s attitude. They could be a 419er, ashawo japanese (Chief Obi what is Ashawo Japanese though?), ritualist, robbery gang member or plain ol’ mami water (if you see mami water eh, never never run away!).
Introduce them to your personal life in phases – Now that you have moved from the online realm to the offline realm. Perhaps you are one of those people that believe in friendship at first sight and proceed to unload all your cockroaches in the cupboard to this person you have just met in person because you feel you know them from chatting online? Lies! My friend pace yourself. I once dated someone I met online and she didn’t know where I worked for like 6 months after we started dating. Anytime she brought up the topic, I conveniently changed it. I ll advise you not to let them in your house or personal space until maybe you have hung out a few times. How many times is up to you. You can form first meeting at eatery, second meeting for movies, third meeting beer parlor and so on before you invite them to your house to play video games (FIFA or bedmatics, that is up to you).
There you have it. My few tips to prevent you becoming a victim of 419ers, ritualists, robbers or just plain ol getting catfished. Remember until you know someone better you hardly know them. Be careful. Avoid getting unnecessarily intoxicated near strangers, if you must dive into their ocean use the appropriate diving suit. And of course in all things, be coded!
This entry was posted in Human Relationships, Musings and tagged 2baba, 419ers, ashawo japanese, catfish, catfished, chief obi, coded tinz, eminem, facebook, instagram, meeting people online, PSA, public service announcement, public spaces, relationships, ritualist, Social media, tips to meeting people online, twitter.