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while relaxing this weekend, I went down memory lane and remembered the time I had to date someone I met on the internet(like get into a relationship: wouldn't be bad if I call it virtual relationship), it was all sweet and beautiful. A very caring young man(so I thought), he wouldn't go a day without checking up on me and if the day was too busy he'd make sure to stop by at least once and drop a message to enquire how I'm doing. Of course I do return the kind gesture because love isn't meant to be one sided and there is no need of pretence.
Two months since we started talking, we spent a lot of time getting to know each other and the environments we live in. He loved to see natural habitats because where I and my family live in my country is located where most of the animals you would see only in zoos while in big cities were free rangers. We learnt how to make sure the harmful ones stayed far in bushes while the less harmful or harmless ones could be seen close to homes meanwhile, he would have to take a day off from work and go to a zoo to see those creatures. On my side, I had the opportunity to see the winter snow as though I was present in his own city because whenever it snowed he would go outside to have a FaceTime with me. I must say, it's a pleasant memory to keep busy not all of it.
Earlier on there were things I believe I noticed that I possibly do not like about him but on a second thought to myself "maybe I'm just being too forward, besides we haven't seen each other physically and I can't really assess his behaviour by just the few hours of video calls"; So I decided to relax my mind. Sometimes I feel super excited about this relationship and other times I just feel overwhelmed and sad without even knowing exactly the course of my mood.
He one day initiated a conversation regarding visitation, we came to an agreement that he'll be the one to travel down. Of course I was happy about that because if it was to be the other way around I would not be able to go coz the cost of getting to his country with my my savings in my local currency would mean I have to spend my life's savings and that's of course what I'd not want to do 😊
so fast forward to 2020 when the lockdown started in March in my country, it halted our plans we then made it almost a habit to converse more than three times daily and for long hours (well what do you expect from young lovers were thousands of miles apart and can't do nothing about it because of worldwide factor: lockdown). We did the best we could but then something strange started happening. Gradually he'd tease me, like baby can I see a photo of you today. I rolled my eyes and was like "how do you mean"? We are talking on FaceTime already right?. I'd just ignore it and maybe send a picture of myself while working out or relaxing.
Well but no, I don't think that's what he meant. He stopped complimenting pictures I send him like nature and Videos I make Showing our town from a mountain I do climb sometimes for fun.
Second time he made the request I had to come plain and ask "do you mean I should take a nude of myself and send to you"?
At first he pretended that it wasn't what he meant but he didn't give a strong denial and that's a shocker for me. It was becoming obvious now because many things didn't interest him anymore. But just my nudes. For straight one week, that's the only thing he'd chat me up and ask for and of course I would make sure he knows I received the message and will reluctantly say not once again. It wasn't comfortable for me so I don't think if he cared about me he wouldn't reconsider what is ok and not ok for me.
As a computer science student and with the common knowledge I have about how technology works, I thought seriously about the consequences.
Seriously, babe( like I used to call him 😁 ) "U mean I should send nudes of myself to you without thinking about the consequences from that". We had some arguments and little by little what my instincts told me earlier started playing out. Well he sent some nudes without faces so can't tell if it was him, then boom pictures of other females started coming in.
One morning, I woke up to a really long message telling me of how lucky and smart I was for choosing not to come over. And that he only wanted to make me believe him by choosing to travel down. I thought it was all happening in a dream honestly and I wished to wake up from it.
He started spamming me with nudes, of different females.
I rushed immediately to get back to our very first conversation in 2019 to remember what we first talked about, I then see he said "hi beautiful, I'm messaging you from a group we both belong to" he named the group so I went immediatley to check out more about him in the group and also talk to the admin.
Lo and behold, the admin wasn't surprised. He said two different ladies have made complaints about him of how he posted their nude somewhere on the internet. I don't know how it got to their knowledge but that led to serious quarrels which usually ended the relationship. Now the questions running through my mind is: do they get to erase the pictures they sent him? NEVER! Of course.
Now, its ok to meet someone on the internet and fall in love. This has worked for so many people and still working for alot of others even as we speak. But there has to be a very certain level of self worth that I think we should all have. There are several things you might be made to think is normal by the person on the other end, It could be a male or a female although females most especially are in the position to get deceived into this mistake. Never doubt your instincts and let your morals not be forgotten in times like this.
One thing we should always bear in mind is that the internet is one place that NEVER FORGETS.
DON'Ts of online dating (in my opinion).
1. It's not ok to make videos of your nude self and send to someone because:
you never can tell their motives
Maybe they have no evil intentions but they may not have control of who has access to their phones gallery. Some friends can be seriously crazy and take stuff out of their phone or whatever device it is stored in.
The internet is not completely safe, except if you don't really care about who gets hold of such private information.
2. Do not visit and stay with someone you met online in a very private building. At least they shouldn't be living completely alone. Don't get carried away by this love because only someone who makes it back alive will live to enjoy it.
3. Trust your instincts at all times. If there's a feeling of negativity you have, try and query it as much as possible because there are several things you cant ascertain by merely looking at and talking to someone over video calls.
4. And lastly, don't be desperate. I don't know how much I can explain that but just don't be desperate for love and companionship. It will find you when the time is right, coming from the right person.
Of course we stopped communicating and he blocked me after some days but I moved on happily knowing there was nothing he could use against me out there.
So guys, stay safe out there as you surf the internet daily. So many people are out there to prey on both your ignorance of what has been happening and your desperate search for love and companionship.