Tinder and Teens: A Dangerous Combination

By Matt Bulkley | Blog Education Series

STAR Guides Wilderness - Tinder and Teens A Dangerous Combination

According to many adults who have used Tinder; it is an enjoyable and innovative way to meet interesting people around you and of course, there is always the possibility for romance. But for parents of teenagers, Tinder is one of the most dangerous apps that their child can use.

Though our program can help teens with their technology, porn, sex addictions and other sexual behavioral issues, the parents are by definition the first line of defense for their children. We are going to discuss the various dangers that teens can be exposed to via Tinder, so the parents know what they are dealing with.

What is Tinder?

Tinder is basically a dating app, which shares the users’ information with appropriate matches in their vicinity. They can either choose to like or dislike the match, when prompted. If they like the match, they can choose setup a meet with their match. The app is rated 17+, but teens ages 13 and over can also use the app. The combination of Tinder’s features can put your teenager at risk, like the following:

THE DESCRIPTION

If you read the description of the app on different app stores, then you will know the type of content that teens can potentially get exposed to, when they use Tinder. It has “mild sexual content, nudity, profanity and mature/suggestive themes”. These are the type of content that adolescents could get exposed to, if they join the community simply by browsing profiles.

LOCATION REVEALED

Once both individuals have liked each other, the app reveals their detailed information to each other. It also shares their exact location, so that they can meet each other. You should be wary of any app that can reveal your child’s location to strangers, particularly those who are seeking a sexual encounter.

THE HOOKUP APP

Tinder is quickly becoming popular as a ‘hookup’ app. Teens can look for their ‘match’ using this app and go and meet them after looking at their picture for a few seconds, without knowing anything about them. The term “hookup” typically refers to meeting up with someone for a sexual encounter.

POTENTIAL PREDATORS

With everything that the app offers; it is the perfect hunting ground for predators to seek out young teenagers. They can easily create a false profile and use it to lure unsuspecting teens to meet them. Unfortunately, we have worked with many teens who have been exploited and traumatized as a result of “hookups” gone bad using dating apps intended for adults.

It can be clearly gleaned, after reading the information above, that Tinder hides a lot of different types of dangers for teens. So, make sure that your children aren’t using the app. If your teenage child is struggling with any type of technology addiction, then contact us (800.584.4629) to enroll him/her to our wilderness therapy program to disrupt this dangerous pattern of behavior now.

About the Author

Matt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in the field of youth treatment and psychotherapy since 1995. He did his undergraduate work at BYU and earned his M.S.W. at the University of Utah. He has worked in a variety of treatment setting in his career ranging from wilderness therapy and residential treatment to outpatient treatment and state government.

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