Before I begin this blog, I’d like to let you know that I’m not writing this to tell you that Tinder is a scary app that you should be wary of at all costs. That is simply not what this blog is about. I’m writing this to simply inform you of what the app is, what it is for, and what it has done for a lot of people. Of course when it comes to children, there will often be a lapse in judgment that leads to a misuse. But I’d like to first tell you what the app is and why it should be worth your while to know all about it.
What is it?
Tinder is a dating app. It is essentially a platform that lets interested candidates meet each other by enabling communication between the two parties through a chat based interface.
How Does it Work?
The app’s function is simple. It uses location tracking to list down photos and profiles of people that are your potential matches and are close to you. It uses a swiping function. If you’re interested in a profile, you swipe right… if you’re not interested in a profile, you swipe left to move on to the next photo. The user who has been swiped right on gets a notification.
Are Users Known?
Nope, users are kept largely anonymous—as anonymous as it gets with their photo on there—until such time that both parties “like” each other and are able to message each other. Moreover, the user’s location is known. In fact the user’s proximity as close to within a mile is known.
Is There an Age Limit?
Users are supposed to be for ages 12 and above. This is actually one of the most popular dating websites in teens and young adults.
Is there Something to Worry About?
There are a few things you need to keep in mind because they can potentially be dangerous if not dealt with from the get go:
- Users as young as 12 are allowed on there. This means if your child is on Tinder, they are exposed to people of all ages in their proximity.
- Your child’s location is absolutely known, which makes them vulnerable.
Given the above two points, you can see that if a predator were to be in your area, it would be rather easy for them to look for victims using this app. Older men trying to prey on younger girls (or even the opposite) can easily find their match here. It’s basically the same danger as any other social media app presents. It is just the location tracking nature of this app—which is what has made this app so famous—which can be potentially dangerous for young children.
So what we’re telling parents is not to be afraid; we’re just telling to be cautious. Tinder is a popular app, but you should know what it is primarily for (hint: it is the opposite of a long term relationship). You need to be prepared as a parent or guardian, knowing what it can potentially be used for. Moreover, you also need to keep in mind that the location tracking business can be quite dangerous for minors. It’s why we hand over the location tracking power to you. In a stranger’s hand, the ability to track your child can be malicious. So bewared and be prepared.