SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— One of the hot new trends these days are social discovery sites and apps which help you meet new people. You might think that sounds like a dating sight, but actually there’s a difference.

They’re not necessarily romantic, but they can be. You could meet someone on or you could talk about sports or politics. I’ve actually been tempted to find bike buddies. And that’s what this is for; to find people with similar interests.

It’s an interesting growth outside the norm for social networks like Facebook where you’re simply connected to people you already know or interact with whereas these discovery sites and apps can in many cases establish new relationships.

KCBS Tech Report:

Regarding safety, you need to take precautions. Never get together with anyone you meet online unless you’re in a public place and ideally with somebody along with you.

When it comes to kids we make these warnings even stronger and say bring parents or a bunch of friends, but even for adults whether it’s a dating site or even one of these sites that’s not romantically inclined, definitely have your first meeting at someplace like a restaurant or a mall where there’s lots of other people.

Also be careful how much information you share. A lot of people have these sort of disposable email addresses. Believe it or not you can actually get disposable telephone numbers, so the number you give to somebody isn’t your real number, it’s one that forwards to it. You also should be sure not to give out your home address during these meetings and definitely don’t get into a car with somebody until you are absolutely comfortable with them.

As a pre-screening measure you should try to find out as much as you can online about the person you plan on meeting.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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