What no one tells parents about the dating app Tinder
We’re wrapping up our Dating Apps for Parents of Teens series today with our final app, Tinder. I’ve written about this app in the past. But, Tinder has recently updated their Terms of Service in an effort to discourage teens from using the app. Below, you’ll find an updated review.
Age: 18 & Up
In-App Purchases: Yes
Contains Ads: Yes
Tinder is a mobile dating app that pulls your photo and basic info from your Facebook account. It’s not technically a social network. However, it’s become a popularly known “hookup” app among teens and young adults. Rather than pretend it doesn’t exist, I feel that parents should know about it. It’s easy to set up an account. Once they have an account, users can swipe “yes” or “no” to potential matches who are nearby – yes, it uses location. If the feeling is mutual, people can chat within the app.
What Teens Say
Our teens have grown up in a digital world. They use computers and phones for everything, including communication. Because of this, it isn’t a big stretch for them to want to meet new people in this way.
What Parents Need to Know
Tinder is a photo and messaging dating app, used for browsing photos of potential matches within a certain mile radius of the user’s location. Users swipe right to “like” a photo or left to “pass.” If a person whose photo you “liked” swipes “like” on your photo, the app allows you to message each other. Along with seeking and messaging matches, users can post “moments,” which are images and messages that exist for 24 hours and then disappear. Tinder’s use of location, combined with the allure of privacy, makes this a very risky app for teens.
Before June 2016, teens as young as 13 could sign up for Tinder. In fact, 7% of Tinder’s users were in the 13 to 17-year-old range. Tinder changed the age limits to 18 & Up in June of 2016.
The app is rated in the Apple store for “Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content or Nudity; Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor; Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes.” Users are anonymous until a match is made. Once the match is made, the two parties can message each other. Not every user on Tinder is rude or vulgar. But users will have to wade through tons of offensive and sexually explicit profiles along the way. Another concern is that the app works to facilitate meetings by revealing the user’s location. Unfortunately, some users are using Tinder as a source to look for “hookups.”