For many travellers, a big part of the experience of visiting a new place is meeting the locals. This can be as simple as chatting to people on the streets to find out the best places to dine, drink, and dance, or perusing the online personal ads for a more intimate encounter.

There are various “hook up” apps out there, such as the well known Tinder, Scruff and Grindr platforms. Recent news around targeted attacks of individuals using these apps for criminal activities, are putting even more pressure on someone to take a look a putting some sort of security measures in place, or risk being shutdown completely.

Up until recently many also used the Craigslist personal ads. This last option ceased recently in the United States due to the U.S. Senate passing an anti-sex trafficking bill that could hold the website and others responsible for illegal activity if it becomes law. Now, as of this week Craigslist pulled their Canadian personal ads section from the site as well, with no warning or reasoning behind this decision.

In the past, Craigslist had their own share of problems with “meet ups” gone wrong, some not even connected via the personal ads section. There was even a movie made called the Craigslist Killer.

So why is it that just last week Facebook announced it is jumping into the “adult personals/dating” market? A statement did indicate this was for more social dating purposes, as opposed to sexual hook ups, and Time magazine recently reported that there have been many positive outcomes to meeting on social media platforms as well.

So when and where do we need to draw the line on restrictions and straight out bans?

First and foremost, safety should be of utmost importance, and while all the disclaimers in the world can be placed throughout websites and within terms of agreements, the fact remains there are risks out there. However, there are risks meeting people in person at bars or social outings as well.

Unfortunately, as long as there are bad people in this world, there will be a risk of inherent danger when meeting someone new. Don’t let this stop you from talking to people while you make your travels around the world. The vast majority of people we encounter in our lifetime are good, honest citizens.

Also, people love to share stories about their hometowns with visitors. This is the best way to learn about a place, and get off the beaten path, or to just get off, if that’s what you’re looking for.

So as the platforms for online dating and hook ups is changing quite rapidly, there will most likely be more of a crackdown on certain sites, now that the government and corporations are taking even greater control of our lives, and tracking every move we make.

Until then, safe travels, happy meet ups, and don’t forget to swipe right!



About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.