After being bullied around by my smartphone savvy teenage monstrosities about how I am too ‘old and boring’ to understand their online habits, I decided to jump the bandwagon and get the Tinder App. Millennials and teens are especially attracted to Tinder, and this is a rising concern for parents worldwide.
At this point, I find most of you wondering what exactly Tinder is and why are parents so worried about it?
Hang on and stop fretting! You have no need to worry as today I am going to sail you through everything you need to know about Tinder app, all in one go!
What is the Tinder App?
Let’s start off with the basics, Tinder is a dating app that was launched in 2012 and kicked off with the kids and teens due the sheer simplicity of its design. The catchiest description that I discovered on the AppStore was, “Tinder is how people meet. It’s like real life, but better.”
Tinder amalgamates traditional online dating with the new innovations of IM and GPS tracking which allows you to discover people around you and contact them, INSTANTLY.
You sure got my attention. How does one get started?
One of the reasons for its popularity is the simplicity of how Tinder works. All you really need to do is have a Facebook profile, and download the Tinder app. The public information on your Facebook profile will be used to create a Tinder account, after which you can specify your interests in gender, age, and location to find a potential match.
So after I have an account, how exactly does Tinder work?
It appears pretty darn superficial if you ask me as if someone finds your profile photo interesting, and you match their criteria for age and location, you can show your interest by swiping right on their profile and liking it. If the other person is also interested in you and likes your profile then both users are notified and can IM each other.
The users stay anonymous until BOTH have liked each other’s profiles.
Is there any age restriction?
Oh yes, like many social media apps one has to be above 13 to join. Users between 13-17 can only view users from their age group, and those 18+ can only view those above 18. It is important to realize that the age is calculated using the Facebook birthday and we all know a GIGANTIC number of people who got on Facebook using fake ages, so that’s a red signal for parents for starters now, isn’t it?
In fact, stats say that 44% of Facebook users enter their age falsely to gain access to age-restricted content.
Okay, I am actually getting concerned now. What are the chances that my kid is using Tinder?
The stats say that Tinder has 10 million daily users! Holy moly. And not only that, just check out what I found about the ages of Tinder users!
- 7% — 13 to 17 years old
- 51% — 18 to 24-year olds
- 32% — 25 to 32-year olds
- 6.5% — 35 to 44-year olds
- 3.5% — 45-year olds and older.
What are the known threats Teens using Tinder can face?
Uncontrolled sexual activities
My biggest concern comes from quick research when teens say most of them use Tinder as a way of getting physical without having any emotional attachment. Getting quick one night strands with strangers is definitely not fun and games with sexual predators being on a rise, and STDs as severe as HIV can easily be transferred by unsafe sexual practices with strangers.
Revealing your location to online predators
The app uses location to find users, so people can be led right within a mile of where you live thanks to its GPS tracking! Strangers having information about where you live is highly risky, and Tinder is famous for letting users meet in person by revealing their location. It also can be a breeding ground for letting stalkers and pedophiles be within close reach of your unsuspecting Teen.
Cyberbullying the unknowing teens
Cyberbullying and sharing of inappropriate content are on the rise on Tinder, with many people sharing nude or exposing content. Screenshots are often taken and the teen is blackmailed and humiliated by sharing of personal content that they sent to someone in ‘privacy’.
What can I do to protect my child?
I know it’s easier said than done, but talking to teens about these issues will give them an idea of what dangers can lay hidden behind the apparently harmless use of Tinder. Show them you trust them to handle the information you are providing them with, and consider them responsible enough to respect your concerns about the app.
Remember that teenagers are nothing more than confused, angry adults trying to make their way through. Show them you trust them to behave like an adult.
Keep the settings on private
This ensures that your teens’ personal information is kept private. However, it also doesn’t allow you to find potential matches, which according to my young lady ‘Totally ruined the entire point of using the app’. Kids these days, I tell you.
Report the user
If you find that anyone your child has matched with is harassing them or sending inappropriate content, ask them to report the person IMMEDIATELY!
Use an online monitoring app
mSpy is my personal recommendation to keep your kids out of all sorts of trouble they may face on Tinder and ensure that they do not fall prey to online predators and unsafe sexual practices. With mSpy you can see all your teens profile and search parameters and the users they have matched with.
Not only that, mSpy allows you to view ALL messages that have been sent and received as well as the time and date of all the activities on Tinder. If you think all the things going on Tinder are sending shivers down your spine, I recommend you install mSpy now and keep them safe!