Home Culture Study Reveals How Much Online Stalking Goes On Before First Dates

Study Reveals How Much Online Stalking Goes On Before First Dates

Do you feel a little weird when you start Googling the name of the person you’ll be going on date with soon? Like, how far down the rabbit hole do you go? Is it a case of checking out their Instagram account, or do you go full-on “Blacklist” and check out their background, including address, because how else will you be able to pull up that street view on Google maps?. If stalking is your favorite past time, you’re not alone.

A recent survey of 2,000 people by risk mitigation specialists JDP, which knows its way around a background check, 77-percent of active daters research prospective mates on a regular basis, and of those who do, nearly half spend more than fifteen minutes digging on each and every person. Sixteen-percent spend 45 minutes or more.

Seventy-two percent do this voluntary screening before the first date, while only 11-percent wait until at least the third date, when they actually begin to know the person they’re about to become even more familiar with on the internet.

Graph via JDP

When it comes to just how far back do people go on social media, 63-percent said they go most or all of the way back to check out those earlier photos of their potential new mate.

Women are twice as likely to “look at everything.”

RELATED: 8 Tips That Make For Super-Successful First Dates

Most people, 70-percent, said they were most interested in uncovering photos or videos of the person they’re stalking, but 24-percent admitted they wanted to uncover any criminal past. Twenty-percent got really truthful and said they wanted to find out information on the person’s ex. Now we’re talking!

And if you’re thinking, “What’s the harm in finding out this information? It won’t actually effect the date,” you are totally wrong. Forty-percent said they have backed out of a date after finding unsavory information online, mainly after finding evidence of past criminal activity. Others have backed out simply by seeing photos of them or being turned-off by their interests. Ouch.

RELATED: How Often Do People Who Use Dating Apps Lie?

Forty-three percent of people surveyed said they’ve been on dates where it’s obvious the person researched them first, but 66-percent said it didn’t bother them. And 42-percent said they knew their dates were lying to them because of the prior online research they conducted.

Photo via JDP

Most people surveyed, 40-percent, said they have fantasized about a person before the first date. And it’s worth noting that both men and women fantasize with similar frequency.

In this tech-forward time in history, let’s not lose the grassroots way of dating: in person. As we all know, social media doesn’t paint an accurate picture of anyone’s life, good or bad. And some people just aren’t photogenic! Give people a chance. What’s the harm in having coffee with them before you decide to never see them again?

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