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Meeting New People Is As Easy As The Internet / James Yandell(Assistant Professor of Dept. General Education)

Have you ever had a situation where you are in a new place and don't know many people? You want to meet people and do things but it doesn't seem possible without having someone you know introduce you to them. You may not even feel comfortable with this because you don’t know the presenter that well. Reminding you that "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder", would you like to meet beautiful men and women of all nationalities, ages and backgrounds? Then reading more of this article may be for you.

I won't say it is easy, but if you use the Internet, it can be possible to find friends. My advice for you is to use common sense and not waste time on liars. Sometimes people aren’t who they say they are. This can be a problem. There are many of these “find a friend” sites on the Internet. They are usually called dating website services. Some are free. Some require you to pay an access fee and some require a substantial fee where you undergo a background, credit and criminal check.  Examples of these type services are as follows: Craigslist.com(free/no profile), KoreanCupid.com(profile/time access fee) or AsiaFriendfinder.com(profile/time access fee). These sites cater to people in the Seoul-Korea area. Except for Craigslist, you will need to become a member of one of these type Internet sites and do some profile paperwork.

To become a member, you will need to create a login name and password. Then you will need to fill out an extensive profile that will be ultimately viewed by other people like yourself. A profile is a standard list of questions that the people on the site want to know about you before they take the time to communicate with you. These questions range from your age, religion, relationship status to what you really want from the site; language exchange, friendship, relationship, dating, marriage. There are many questions on the profile. You will also be requested to upload your picture. The picture is very important to maximize your exposure and responses. Many people only search the profiles for pictures first, so make sure the picture is an attractive one. People will then review your profile responses to finally decide if they are interested. Remember, when you read the profiles, some or all of this information could be false.

To actually communicate(site email/chat) with another person, you will need to pay a fee to the dating website service to allow the connection. Once this is done, you will only be able to connect to those that are interested in you for a specific period of time. If there is no interest, you will not get a response or they will block you from contacting them again. This is why the profile and picture are so important.


Now comes the tricky part, checking for honesty. Remember the old business saying, "You cannot believe anything you hear(read) and only half of what you see." You will need to take some steps to find out about this person you might want as a friend. Once you have made contact and feel comfortable chatting and emailing, you will need to make sure they are being honest with the information on their profiles, including the pictures. The initial check will be through your chats and emails. The big question is, "Are their verbal responses the same as what they have written on their profiles?" Remember, liars can’t always keep up with all their lies.

In your final check of truthfulness, you should meet them face-to-face at a neutral site, like a coffee shop in an area with lots of people(e.g. Seoul Station). Before the face-to-face meeting, you will need to review/study their profiles so that when you talk to them, you can cross check a lot of the information they have written about themselves. Be particularly aware of facial cues and body language that might prompt you to feel uncomfortable on a particular topic. This is only prudent since you don't want to be friends with someone that is not truthful about themselves. We all know this can cause a lot of problems later. If dishonesty doesn't bother you, then you can proceed as you wish. My warning here is that you should not interact with a person unless you feel that person is genuine and completely honest about what they have written or spoken to you about themselves. A certain amount of trust is very important as they might be a scam artist or worse. So, as they say in business, "Let the buyer beware". Good luck in your search for friends!

James Yandell(Assistant Professor of Dept. General Education)

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