Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tinder and the Dangers of Use by the Teenage Population

It has been reported that 7 percent of users on Tinder are between the ages of 13 and 17 according to Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen who disclosed this information during a conversation with The Guardian.  According to Samantha Escobar, a lifestyle blogger for YourTango.com, the rise among teenager use has been astonishing and distressing. In the beginning over 90% of Tinder users were between 18 and 24, today that number is about 51%, 25-32 year olds, 32% and 35-44% is about 6.5%. The one thing the articles did not point out is the relation of these statistics to the geographical areas represented.  Tinder is an app that is used globally.  Many of the articles posted on the internet are authored by bloggers in the UK. So how many teen users are from the United States? 

As discussed Tinder has the reputation as a hookup app or an app used for sex.  But interesting enough through my discussions with various internet daters, dating sites including Match.com and Ok Cupid as well as Plenty of Fish also have been known to be used for hook ups or sex.  Bottom line, if someone wants sex they will utilize as many dating applications possible to achieve their end result--Sex.  But Tinder has more of an appeal.  There are no long form profile forms to be filled out.  Tinder is solely used through smart phones although notepads are sometimes used. But the benefit of the smartphone, is that is accessible anywhere and many say they use Tinder more for the game of how many matches they receive.  Many do not even follow through and use it primarily for texting and passing time.  If you are waiting in a doctors office with boring fishing magazines, swiping left and right can be a way to rid of boredom. 

But the true concerning issue at hand is the use by teens.  Tinder boasts that it is a safe application because only people with Facebook profiles can access the site.  Through my investigation and speaking to many Tinder users, I have learned that many create fake Facebook profiles in order to utilize the application.  I spoke to an individual who stated he used Tinder for laughs.  He stated he had no intention to meet women but used it as a shock value. The Tinder user told me that his goal is to get his female match to give him her cell phone number.  Once he gets the cell phone number he sends inappropriate pictures in order to create shock value.  This my friends is the truest form of cyber bullying.  Some use Snap Chat to send pictures or videos.  What becomes concerning is when these photos and videos are sent to  teens under the age of 18. Free dating applications can be dangerous.  But they also can be a positive for the responsible people who use them. It is parents responsibility to monitor their child's phone and be aware of sites such as Tinder.

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