What no one tells parents about the dating app MyLOL
Today we’re discussing the dating app MyLOL. Unlike the other dating apps we’ve covered so far, MyLOL is a site created for and marketed directly to teenagers.
Age: 13-19 Years
In-App Purchases: Yes
Contains Ads: Yes
MyLOL is a site created for and marketed directly to teenagers. Users must be between the ages of 13 and 19 years old. You can register for an account using your existing Facebook or Twitter account. Or, you can sign up by entering a username, password, email address, gender, date of birth, city, and area. Once your account is set, you’ll be prompted to upload a photo of yourself. Users can set the gender and age range of people who you would like to see.
On June 20, 2013, a Canadian company bought the old MyLOL.net website which was fraught with safety issues. Their goal was to clean up the old site and add better moderation and guidelines to make it a safe place for teens. The new website, MyLOL.com, does have strict guidelines in place regarding user photos. Sexually explicit photos or photos that reveal undergarments of any kind are strictly prohibited per their terms of service. I’m not sure they’ve been successful with their attempt to prohibit these, however.
So what are users able to do on MyLOL? Users can display information including pictures, sexual orientation, quiz questions, videos, and interests. Users can get to know each other by leaving messages on each other’s walls. Here they can “vote” on whether they think a user is “sexy,” “handsome/pretty,” “intriguing,” or “friendly.” They can also send a profile match to a user by clicking on a heart symbol.
There is also a focus on making friends. Users can become “friends” with each other by sending and accepting requests. Users can filter their news feed to show updates from the friends on their list or only people in their area. An instant messaging function allows members to privately chat with any members of the site who are online. And, there are public forums where users can post chats about different topics.
Additional features including priority ranking in searches and the ability to view users who have visited and voted on their profile are available with a priority membership. This can be obtained through an in-app purchase.
What Teens Say
There have been countless warnings and controversy surrounding MyLOL. Yet it remains one of the top sites for teens. Teens want a place to mingle that is free from adults. MyLOL gives them that spot. They love connecting with teens all over the world. And, MyLOL gives them plenty of features.
What Parents Need to Know
A quick Google search will pull up stories showing MyLOL has a track record of adults over 19 accessing the site to prey on young kids. There are guidelines in place, but clearly there aren’t enough moderators to keep the site safe, or the guidelines just aren’t enforced. I also want to note police have issued a warning to parents about MyLOL because it “encourages young people to share photos and chat online privately with other members.”
There are much safer apps available.