Is the Tinder App Safe for Students? Parent App Guide

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February 21, 2017

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What is Tinder?

  • A dating app that shows other Tinder users nearby who share similar interests or mutual friends
  • Users anonymously swipe right if they’re interested in seeing a user’s profile or they swipe left to pass
  • If both users express interest or “swipe right” on each other then those users become a match
  • Once a user has been matched with another Tinder user they can start chatting with each other in the app
  • Users can post images and messages as "moments," which exist for 24 hours and then disappear
  • When signing up, users must use a Facebook profile to verify their authenticity to Tinder

Why should parents care?

  • Tinder is a dating app for adults and is not appropriate for teens under 18
  • User's location, pictures and bio are all in one place, which can make it easier for predators to target victims on the app
  • The app has a reputation for finding casual “hookups”, rather than friendships or long-term partnerships
  • The focus of “swiping right” or “swiping left” on users’ pictures encourages teens to treat dating like a game – or in an impersonal, judgmental, and superficial way
  • Teens can become self-criticizing if they begin to judge themselves based on how many “likes” or “swipes” they receive

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This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

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Sharon M.

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Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

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This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

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This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
This app is not safe for students to use unsupervised, but a Green Zone app can serve a positive purpose to help a student to navigate social media and someday build an online brand. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Green Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Gray Zone apps often contain lots of private & disappearing messages, and strangers can use this to chat with students. Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe. This zone can be a great place for family time since many of these apps can be entertaining, and let your students express themselves. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Gray Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone.
Red Zone apps often have lots of anonymous features, adult content, and easy contact with strangers. Supervision is strongly suggested on each of these apps or move your kids to a safer zone. All apps require parental supervision, these apps more than others. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Red Zone or view our list of 100+ Apps to find a safer app with your student.
Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ app reviews at SmartSocial.com

This trend is categorized as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge.
Viral challenges encourage students to do dangerous things to garner likes, views, attention, and subscribers. These challenges can be found across several social networks and may encourage students to perform dangerous activities. SmartSocial.com keeps parents updated on these social media challenges before an incident may occur in your community.

Table of Contents

Parent & educator training video

What is Tinder?

Tinder is a dating app that shows the user other Tinder users who are nearby and share similar interests or mutual friends
  • A dating app that shows other Tinder users nearby who share similar interests or mutual friends
  • Users anonymously swipe right if they’re interested in seeing a user’s profile or they swipe left to pass
  • If both users express interest or “swipe right” on each other then those users become a match
  • Once a user has been matched with another Tinder user they can start chatting with each other in the app
  • Users can post images and messages as "moments," which exist for 24 hours and then disappear
  • When signing up, users must use a Facebook profile to verify their authenticity to Tinder

Tinder in the news

Not all teenagers have cars or driver’s licenses, and many of them hide Tinder from their parents. The Guardian
“Not all teenagers have cars or driver’s licenses, and many of them hide Tinder from their parents.” The Guardian
“The experts we talked to agree that 13 or 14 is too young for [Tinder].” Teen Vogue
“Teenagers — as young as 13 — who use Tinder are flirting with danger, police warn.” Tech Times

Teen online dating statistics

  • In 2016, Tinder increased the dating app’s age requirement from 13 to 18 years old
  • The average user spends 35 minutes every day on Tinder
  • One-quarter of teen “daters” have dated or hooked up with someone they first met online

Why should parents care?

Tinder is a dating app for adults and is not appropriate for teens under 18.
  • Tinder is a dating app for adults and is not appropriate for teens under 18
  • User's location, pictures and bio are all in one place, which can make it easier for predators to target victims on the app
  • The app has a reputation for finding casual “hookups”, rather than friendships or long-term partnerships
  • The focus of “swiping right” or “swiping left” on users’ pictures encourages teens to treat dating like a game – or in an impersonal, judgmental, and superficial way
  • Teens can become self-criticizing if they begin to judge themselves based on how many “likes” or “swipes” they receive

What can parents do?

If your student has Tinder, immediately ask them to delete the app.
  • Teach your teen to never meet a stranger in-person who they met online
  • Challenge your teen to make new friends at school, through sports leagues, or at events in your community
  •  
  • If your student has Tinder:
  • Immediately ask them to delete the app
  • Instead, have them use one of the apps in our Green or Grey zones
  • Discuss the age limitations of the app and why it is inappropriate for teens to use Tinder

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