Mary Jannette Pinzon of the UP Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts said the launch of a new online dating app in the Philippines courtesy of social media platform Facebook has highlighted the changing landscape in terms of meeting people and establishing relationships.
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‘Dating apps bare risks, challenges in meeting people online’
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - May 5, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — People who use dating applications may find themselves facing various challenges in establishing long-term relationships with people they meet online, according to a professor of interpersonal communication at the University of the Philippines (UP).

Mary Jannette Pinzon of the UP Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts said the launch of a new online dating app in the Philippines courtesy of social media platform Facebook has highlighted the changing landscape in terms of meeting people and establishing relationships.

Unlike in the face-to-face setup, Pinzon said communicating through dating apps might be more challenging for people who are trying to build relationships.

“If it is online versus the face-to-face, there is a difference. You have limitations, for example, that you cannot fully express yourself through emoticons,” Pinzon told The STAR in Filipino.

“I mean, how far can emoticons express what you really feel, or even the words that you really say. We use verbal and non-verbal (cues). How would you express non-verbal? How far can words express what you feel?” she added.

At some point, Pinzon said people who meet online would have to meet personally to fully establish their relationships, whether romantically or as friends.

“They might be having a good relationship online but when they meet each other, they’re confronted with the truth (it does not work),” she added.

Pinzon, however, said it is not totally impossible to develop a good relationship through the internet.

“Anything can happen, whether it is a face-to-face or online relationship,” she said. “As to whether the relationship would grow into something good or soothing unhealthy, it really depends on both parties regardless of whether it is online or a face-to-face kind of relationship.”

Pinzon also noted risks in meeting new people online, stressing the need for users to ensure that the person they are talking with accurately represent themselves.

She cited reports of rape and assault committed by people the victims met online.

During the F-8 conference in California last week, Facebook App head Fidji Simo said they have expanded Facebook Dating in 14 new countries, including the Philippines.

She said the feature was built “to be safe, opt-in and inclusive,” noting that finding a romantic partner is an intensely personal matter.

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