Online dating is not all about talking and finding 'Mr./Mrs. right'. You don't have to use online dating sites as an interface to meet other people online before meeting them in real life. There are numerous other activities to be found on popular online dating networks. Here are a few examples of them:
Sharing food recipes is one of these activities. Some dating network sites also have online auctions. These dating networks are more like a MySpace for adults then an dating network only.
You can also share photos or look for that old class mate on these networks. However, some online dating networks are only for finding dates and people to meet. If you sign up for such a network, you should always take your safety into account.
Never give out your phone number or details out on the first email. Some networks do not have sufficient spam protection.These spam usually sends out large number of emails to find interested people to exploit.
Luckily it is easy to identify. If a complete stranger sends you a very long email, it is probably spam. No one spends that much time to write a complete stranger a very long email. The first mail or attempt at contact is usually rather short.
Also make sure that the network that you use is safe and comfortable to use. Preferably it also has filter options and advance search options. You should have a list of qualities that you don't like about other people and filter them. For example, if you don't date smokers hide them in your lists.