I’ve always been a huge fan of Craigslist. When I lived in Denver, I met several social groups, sold furniture, and even had a couple of dates. Here in Charlotte, I met some of my best friends through Craigslist. I’ve met people from San Francisco who had bought furniture, sold furniture, got an apartment, got a job, met their husband, and found their best friend on Craigslist. It was a great resource, especially for people new to a city.
And then it got bigger and more people found out about it. And I never log on anymore, because instead of finding cool social groups, it’s just get-rich-quick ads. Furniture can still sometimes be found for a deal, but you have to worry about the honesty of the person coming to your house to pick it up. And forget the personals section – SCARY.
Last year I was selling a couple of items via Craigslist. I had an email conversation with one man, and he said he would come pick it up, and then proceeded to verify my address. Note I said verify, and not ask for. He said he had googled my name and found my address. Yes, indeed, I freaked. He ended up not being able to buy the furniture, and for about a month I was worried I would be robbed by this guy. After that, I set up a fake email address with a fake name that I used.
I mourn for what was.
Yes, the world (and the internet) can be a scary place. And yes, people can take advantage of you. But if people would just use some common sense, the worst would rarely occur. And if people would stop taking advantage of other people’s trust and honesty, the worst would never occur. (I know, I live in a dream world.) Craigslist has been the misused over the last few years, used as an aid to help people commit unspeakable crimes. But it’s not a problem with Craigslist. It’s a problem with sick people. Sick people will do sick things, using any means they have available to them. An online dating website. A classified ad in a newspaper. A drive past a person’s house.
So forget blaming the website, or the people who run it. Arm yourself with common sense.