Parents: Look Out for Tinder Smartphone App

Tinder is one of the more well-known online adult dating applications on the social media scene. It hides behind the name of a “dating” app, but it is being used more predominantly as a “hook-up” venue. The Tinder app alerts its users when other users who meet a specific gender, age and physical set of specifications are close to their current location. Tinder has a wide range of users therefore the chances are great that there will be matches for many personality types. Dating apps such as Tinder are also appealing because it is flattering to be wanted and it is alluring to seek out love interests. Although it is advertised as an easy way for adults to meet new people, it is an even easier way for teens to meet the wrong people!

When using Tinder, the user swipes through galleries of faces. Users are able to show interest by swiping right to like their photo or by swiping left to ignore them and look past their photo. It is impossible to know if the photos that are being liked are true photos of the person on the other side of the screen until a face to face meeting is planned. Once both parties show interest the app allows the message feature to appear. Then…the games begin

Why do I say the games begin? I say this because, Tinder has made the app feel “game like” by literally using terms like “keep playing” in the place of keep swiping. Tinder turns meeting dates and hooking up into a posh and virtual flashcard type of game. In doing this, it strips away at one’s better judgement and censorship easily goes out the door.Â

Why should parents be concerned about Tinder?

  • As a parent, there many reasons to worry and the possible repercussions that could stem from your teen’s involvement with this app are obvious!! Abduction, STDs, and social predators are just a few of the obvious concerns that cause parents to give a resounding NO when it comes to their teen and this app.
  • Tinder uses specific details about each user’s GPS location to help them find matches that are nearby instead of half way around the world. Teens who look for matches within a  set distance, will be giving their general location away for others to find them as well.
  • Because of the promiscuous culture that has been perpetuated through Tinder’s reputation, sex is almost always offered or talked about during messages.Â
  • Tinder gives users the impression that it is OK to judge someone based on looks alone rather than getting to know them.
  • The app promotes a bit of narcissism and other unhealthy behaviors that lead to unstable esteem issues.

What parents can do to protect their teens?

In short, Tinder is making bad decisions seem like the right decisions and erodes the innocence and sincerity out of forming healthy relationships. Parents provide their children with smartphones and tablets so that their children can grow academically or find healthy entertainment. This should not make children immediately eligible for using every app available in their local smart device app store.

Parents can learn to hold their children responsible for their behavior by asking questions about the apps they use on a daily basis. Find out the names of the apps installed on their smartphones and tablets. Ask questions about how they are used. Find out who their top friends are in these apps and what kinds of things they discuss when hanging out online.

There are a lot of mistakes that can be easily made by sharing too much information with the wrong people online. Hooking up with someone from an Internet dating website is not the type of behavior that should be encouraged among teens, and parents should discuss with their children about the importance of having a good online reputation and using the Internet for productive things rather than chasing vanity.

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