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Parenting & Education in Ireland

Is your Teen using Tinder? Advice for parents with Teens.




A recent survey by an Irish study website, Studyclix, found that many Irish students are using Tinder, a dating app. Astonishingly, some of these students are as young as 13 years old. Here at Schooldays.ie we have put together some advice for parents who may be worried their teens are using this popular dating app.

What is Tinder?

The Tinder app, available on smartphones, is a dating app that works through geolocation where users set it up to see who is ‘available’ near to their location. Tinder allows users to anonymously like or reject potential matches using a simple swiping gesture. If two users both ‘like’ each other’s profile then the app allows them to chat, share photos and short videos.

The issues that arise with this app, especially among parents with teens, is that anyone over 13 years can download this app and use it freely, despite the risks that an app giving anonymous users the geolocation and details of it’s users. Common Sense Media have described the app as ‘not suitable for kids’, as most of it’s users are over 18 years old and the app is commonly described as used for ‘hooking up’. Parents are now being warned to monitor their teens using dating apps such as these.

What are the dangers?

One of the issues that arise with this app is with the problem of fake accounts that are often pornographic spam accounts encouraging users to leave their credit card details.
The Tinder app is about facilitating people to meet up and date based on their looks and location. Parents need to know that any teens using this app can potentially meet strangers, with no way of verifying the identity of the other person.
There is a ‘snap chat’ function that users able to share ‘disappearing photos’, which may encourage users to send nude images.
The app has and can be used in cyberbullying.

What can parents do?

Despite the fact that this app is marketed to both young teens and adults, digital experts warn parents not to allow their teens to use this app.
How?

  • Parents can check their teens mobile device for this app and also make sure they have appropriately aged apps downloaded.
  • Talk to your teens about internet safety and the potential dangers an app like this can expose them to.
  • Do some research on apps aimed at teens and see if they are appropriate for your child.
  • Talk to your teen about online dating. Is this something a 13 year should be exposed to? Talk about the ramifications of meeting strangers online.