Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Does Craigslist Make you Feel Uneasy?

The beauty of Craigslist. I love it. I really do. Where else can you can pine over missed connections in the metro, pick up free sofas, search for the lost Mr. Whiskers, advertise your Russian tutoring services, find a new apartment to rent, and post a no strings attached SBM seeks SWF personal ad all at the same place? The way it is divided into local markets so you deal with people in your own area seems to be the reason for its success.

I have "officially" used Craigslist twice. Once it landed me an awesome internship. My second experience with the website; however, provided less pleasing results. Tonight I waited for a complete random stranger to meet me in the parking lot of Ikea to sell me a new phone for a long time. Unfortunately this person never showed. Or at least I never figured out which one of the other 200 cars in the parking lot belonged to the stranger with the phone I wanted to buy. I didn't know anything about the person who I was about to meet and he/she didn't know anything about me. I'm sure they were perfectly safe, but I couldn't help being reminded of police report I read awhile ago about a guy getting beat up and robbed who had arranged to buy an iPhone off of someone on Craigslists.

Why does Craigslist seems so much sketchier than the other websites out there? Is it because it is taking the "safe" virtual nature of online relationships and causing it collide into to our real lives where we are thus, more vulnerable? There are scams on Craigslist to be wary of, but isn't that on every site with a community of users? I partake in many online transcations without the bat of an eye, but why is it that Craigslist makes me feel slightly uneasy? Am I paranoid?

P.S. If you don't periodically check out the Best Of Craigslist you're really missing out.

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