The internet has changed the way we do almost everything. Communications can be sent to the other side of the world in an instant, information on just about anything is readily available and shopping can be done from the comfort of your own home. Awesome!
Even better is that the internet has also changed the way people meet new friends in London. 10 years ago, websites like new2london were few and far between but now you have access to a whole network of potential new friends who, just like yourself, are new to London.
The internet has had a pretty bad rap when it comes to safety and, in some cases, deservedly so. Ultimately, on some sites you have no idea who youre talking to. Someone who presents themselves as a perky 23-year old named Cindy could actually be a 50-year old called Steve. However, the internet has also produced long-lasting friendships, business partnerships and even marriages. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of people online are genuine and, especially on sites like new2London, they are looking to meet new people.
Although meeting people online still has a stigma attached to it, this is fading fast. Trusting your instincts is important: if youre not sure about a certain situation then you dont have to get involved. You are totally in control.
If youre still not sure about meeting people in London who you met online, here are a few tips to help
1) Dont reveal where you live
Dont reveal where you live in London until you are absolutely sure the person is trustworthy. Never give away personal information like your phone number or address in London. Stay anonymous until the last moment.
2) Meet in a public location in London
If you want to meet someone in person, do so in a public location. Never meet at a private home. Remember, if the situation feels strange, you are completely entitled to leave. Tell a friend or family member that you are meeting someone for the first time and let them know where you are going and what time you expect to be home. They can keep an eye on the time and check up on you should you be late. Take a mobile phone with you so you can be contacted easily. If you are having a great time and want to stay out longer, let a friend or family member know so they dont worry.
3) Google the new friend
Find the persons full name before you meet them and Google them. Employers do it and, unless you feel it would be unethical, theres no reason you shouldnt. Remember some people could share their name with someone else so dont jump to any conclusions!
4) Beware of fakers
People are not always what they appear to be on the internet. To be confident that the person you are getting to know is genuine, first spend time chatting on the online or by email. Build some trust before you speak on the phone or meet in person. Ideally ask to see their photo. Do not meet someone who refuses to give you their photograph.
5) Dont be pressured into meeting
If you dont feel ready or comfortable, wait a while. If someone youre chatting to online seems pushy then theres good reason to be cautious. A genuine person interested in friendship will be happy to wait until you feel comfortable enough to meet. Generally speaking, a person who pushes for a quick meeting – often on the day you start chatting – is likely looking for sex. If this is not what you want, you are wasting your time on the wrong person.
6) Meet a new friend in a group meet up
To overcome you having to meet one to one why not invite them to a group event in London, for example a new2london meetup? There is safety in numbers.
7) Never go back to someones house who you have just met
You may think they seem nice and can be trusted, but you cant always be sure of a persons qualities straight away. Dont risk getting into a situation thats awkward or even difficult to get out of. If casual sex meetings arent what you are looking for, avoid people who insist on the first meeting being at their home.
8) Be cautious
If something doesnt feel right, then it probably isnt! Your instincts are powerful –trust them! Likewise, if youre having a great time and getting on well, embrace it and let it flourish. Youll work out as you get to know someone if they are genuine and whether its friendship, romance or just sex theyre looking for.
9) Dont reveal your personal email address or Facebook
Never just hand out your email or facebook details. Always use sites like new2london that safeguard your identity when messaging new friends in London.
10) Use the phone first
If you are not 100% sure someone is genuine before you meet a new friend in London why not call them on the phone first at least that way you are not wasting your time