As I logged onto my email account last week, I saw that one of my newly acquired Facebook friends had sent me a private message requesting a phone call. This gave me a feeling of trepidation. This message was from a guy who was in the process of finishing a book, and I had briefly and publicly offered him words of literary encouragement. However, that was all I had offered. “Why in heaven’s name did he want me to call him?” I asked myself. My feminine intuition kicked in, and all kinds of alarm bells were going off because I had the sneaking suspicion that this man was just another guy trolling the Internet highways looking for a social media sugar mama. Of course, my immediate desire was to “unfriend” him. However, the logical side of my mind warned me not to jump to conclusions. Finally, I decided to test his intentions. I replied to his message by informing him that I could not call unless I knew the nature or the topic of our conversation. He replied with a private “thank-you” and with a scornfully public “I hate game players” posting. His reaction told me all I needed to know, and I “unfriended” him quickly.
This incident is not the only “hunting for a sugar mama” encounter I have experienced online, and I am sure it will not be the last. Predators can be found everywhere, even in our virtual worlds. All of us should practice caution while we navigate the worlds of social media and online networking by growing our platforms. So how do you get organic growth on instagram depends on the content that you post. Those of us who are women of a “certain age” are to be especially wise and savvy as we befriend and socialize via the Internet. Some men on these social networking sites are literally hunting for a kind, seemingly vulnerable, and mature woman to use. These guys come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and ethnicities. And whereas some of their deceitful attempts are amateurish and transparent, some of these guys are more practiced and adept and have perfected their con.
Some of the telltale signs of the online gigolo or Lothario are:
He is usually shallow about people’s physical shape and attractiveness. (Ex. He will send or post topless pictures of himself as an introduction.) His initial messages are overly complimentary and/or intimate. He wants to initiate a meeting too soon. He usually has some type of grand project, and it is his passion. (He needs the support of a good woman.) He may use humor or sarcasm to avoid being real and forthcoming. If he is a seasoned con artist, he will offer a deceptive invitation to be used. (His intended victim will feel either flattered by the attention or obligated to follow proper social etiquette; therefore, she will respond favorably.)
Overall, social media can provide powerful and helpful tools. They can expand our personal circles and promote our professional ambitions. However, we should always use these tools with wisdom and with our personal safety in mind.