We’ve reviewed a lot of dangerous and frighteningly popular apps recently, but Tinder may be the absolute worst for tweens and teens. Simply Google “Tinder” or check out their Twitter profile and you’ll quickly discover that this app is all about hooking up. Even so, the age restriction for using Tinder is (gasp!)only 12!
What Is Tinder?
Tinder is an online dating app that functions much like a kid’s game. As soon as you install the app, you’re invited to upload a flattering picture of yourself and allow the app to access your location. Once you’ve done that, you can scroll through profiles of people in your area. If you like them, you tap the green heart. If they like you back, then you’ll get a message notifying you of your “match.” Being matched with someone opens up a chat feature so that you can get to know one another better.
The Many Problems With Tinder for T(w)eens
Oh, where to begin? There are so many obvious problems with Tinder for teens or tweens. Of particular concern is the geo-location feature that is such an integral part of this app. Since the whole purpose of Tinder is to find someone who you can actually meet up with in real-life, you can drill down to a one-mile radius from your location. I imagine that if you were a pedophile, Tinder would be your dream come true.
Tinder could be used for cyberbullying as well. Kids can be cruel, and it wouldn’t be unheard of for a guy or gal to think it funny to match with someone just to gain access to the chat feature and tease or taunt the unsuspecting victim. Or, a user could easily take a screen shot of someone they don’t like and post the picture on other social media sites along with nasty or degrading comments.
Of course, that’s not to mention the moral qualms one may have with this app. As parents, do we really want to encourage our children to like or dislike others based on looks alone? While there is a section of the Tinder profile for listing interests and hobbies, it’s clear that the main focus is on appearance.
The app also seems to speed up the whole courting process to an uncomfortable pace. Since when are you someone’s “match” because you think he or she is physically attractive? Tinder seems to suggest that the next logical step is to start texting (or sexting?) this person with the end goal being a one-night stand. Whoa, slow down.
Our advice is to block Tinder from your child’s devices immediately. Run, don’t walk! With Qustodio, you can protect your kids from apps like this in mere seconds, possibly saving them a lifetime of regret. Also, don’t forget to talk to your child about the dangers of apps like these. New ones are popping up every day, so it’s nearly impossible to stay ahead of the game. It’s best to educate your child and encourage smart, healthy choices.