Don’t become another natural selection victim

Erica Weisburn

Natural Selection: 4,567,239. Stupid People: 0. Once again, the gene pool is cleaning up. Yet another Myspace murderer has struck, and people are surprised?

How is it that a 27-year-old woman meets a man online, agrees to date him, is murdered on their first date and society feels pity for her? Come on, people. Stop blaming Tom Anderson for your bad decisions.

I’m not saying Josie Brown asked for it, so to speak, but I do think she is partly responsible. No, it’s not her fault John Gaumer admittedly pushed her over an interstate guardrail and beat her to death. Or that she had been missing since Dec. 28, to be found only a couple of weeks ago, according to an ABC News affiliate on Feb. 8. As an adult, however, she knew perfectly well the risks involved in being alone with a stranger.

In a technology-enthused world, it’s only realistic that online dating would become a popular way to meet people. There is a right way and a wrong way to do it, though.

You check out someone’s profile, you think he/she is cute, you read over the 50 surveys he/she has posted on his/her Web page, one thing leads to another and you send out a friend request.

Every day, I get five or six messages from desperate guys who don’t have the guts to meet girls the normal way. They use pick-up lines like, “Hey, I think your hott! We should hook up sometime.” I even hear the occasional, “So, r u single? R u looking? Do you want a soldier to hold you in his arms?” Sorry, Phillip, whoever you are.

I’m not ashamed to say I’ve bought into this “I’m-safe-behind-my-computer-screen” way of hooking up. I’ve accepted a few random requests and found a boyfriend … well, it’s complicated … along the way. Either way, I’m glad I met him, but I took the necessary precautions beforehand.

There is no shame in Googleing potential dates. See if he/she seems legitimate. If something doesn’t line up, back down. Your safety shouldn’t be jeopardized. No matter how much of a connection you think you have with this person, he/she is still a stranger.

When I agreed to go on a date with my boyfriend, I still took pepper spray. I refuse to be another stupid girl who gets raped and murdered because she trusts the wrong person.

Sure, terrible things happen to smart people, too. Brown could have taken all of the precautions, done all the right things and still ended up dead on the side of the road. No one really knows how well she knew her killer, and either way, the situation is tragic. The truth is, however, you’re less likely to be harmed if you do your homework.

Stupid or not, those of you who blame everyone else for your mistakes: Stop it. If you want to risk your life by meeting a stranger you found online, be my guest. Just stop complaining if something happens to you. That is, of course, if you live to tell about it.

I’m a firm believer that natural selection exists. It eliminates the ignorant, the stupid and the weak. Hopefully, it’s before they reproduce.

Erica Weisburn is a newspaper journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]