Catch da Flava Radio - Valentine's Day Special

Radio Regent's Catch da Flava youth radio hosted a Valentine's Day special show with a panel discussion on online dating. The discussion was led by host Judy with guest speakers Tavianne, Judd, Jacob, and Devaughn Stephenson. Local Toronto residents and George Brown college students, each speaker had an interesting take on the new climate of love and romance with the mainstream current of online dating.

The first topic discussed was whether panelists believed there was any "shame" involved with online dating. Some had said yes, reasoning that it seems as if a person wasn't able to find romance in the real world and would likely not want to share "how they met" for fear of embarrassment. Another had mixed feelings on the concept, expressing experience with online dating and having met some real
ly great people in the process, but also bad experiences. They concluded that it really is what a person makes of it. Another believes that online dating bares little shame now then in might have years previous as it has become so normalized.

The next topic to consider were dating apps such as the infamous Tinder, which has really changed the landscape of online dating making it infinitely more casual than it used to be. One panelist also discussed an old outdated app called "Hot or Not" in which users utilized the same swiping mechanism to declare someone either 'hot' or 'not'. The app was eventually shut down, but it still has caused a great deal of controversy. There was also consideration on online websites that ultimately seem too dangerous to consider a legitimate form of dating. Panelists agree that with the growing trend of online dating, things have become much more shallow as much of a person can be judged based on a handful of pictures.

The conversation evolved to the online phenomenon of 'catfishing' which is often understood as a person who creates a fake online account with a fake persona to lure people into feelings of false affection or to manipulate money or other resources from their targeted victims. Some do it for the money and resources they acquire, some do it simply to bully and feel better about themselves this way. Some do it to cover up their own sense of insecurity by projecting powerfully their sense of worthlessness on their victims. Panelist Devaughn describes his experience witnessing friends behaving in such a manner and knows firsthand the very dangers that can come from online dating, as such bullying can lead victims to become suicidal.

Ultimately, panelists were asked to weigh in on the issue and dangers around online dating and what to do to protect ourselves and whether at the end of the day, it is worth it to even go that route. Many panelists suggest privatizing accounts as much as possible, never give out personal information, practice very careful discretion, and if a person plans to meet someone they met online, meet in a public and open area. Although online dating has its drawbacks, most panelists seem to be at least marginally open to the idea of online dating. Whether or not our guests are, online dating seems to be a new fixture in the dating scene, making it a great talking point for this Valentine's Day.

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