Just in the last blog, we discussed how parenting has changed over the years. Taking the concept a little further, we’re going to discuss these dating apps that are so much in the hype these days.
We’ve discussed so much and if you’re following our posts, you’d have become quite a smart parent, already. We’ve discussed the things you should never do in front of your teens, how to approach sensitive topics with them, some of their slang phrases and even some of the key challenges your teens have to face as they grow up. If you have high-school going teens, you might be dreading the time when your daughter will be going on a prom with a guy from her class, but there high chances that it won’t happen. No, you daughter might still go out but not with the guy from her class who lives three blocks away, but with some totally strange dude she met on these dating apps!
The Dating Evolution
Humans have evolved and so has the dating over the years and years. Here have a quick look:
- Online dating websites grew drastically popular by 2013.
- 45 million people log on on these sites in 2013.
- 66% of the people who used these apps went out with people they met on these apps.
- Online daters make up the 7% of the cell phone apps.
Dating Gone Mobile
Everything’s has become mobile and so has the online dating. And this exactly puts us parents in a difficult situation. We can’t deny our teens the smartphones and yet, we’re worried that they’d meet suspicious people online. And worse still, there is always the risk of Catfishers trying to trap your innocent child for all bizarre reasons.
You can somehow let your daughter going out with a boy you know but trusting a total stranger can be dangerous. This can result in teen dating violence. Numerous teens get abused on their first date and most of them never report it and some of them would even keep going out with the abusive partners.
Some Apps You Need to Keep an Eye on
Okay, let’s admit some of us parents might have used the app, too. And that’s why many of us would know the risk as well. Even Leonardo de Caprio uses Tinder!
We’re adults, we can somehow judge what the other persons’ up to but not teens. They’re young and too emotionally charged to read between the lines. Tinder’s minimum accepted age is 13 and teens are way too young to be actively dating at that age.
That may not be a dating app, per say but still it can be used for the similar reasons. Anyone can send his/her picture to your child and try to get in touch, even ask for pictures in return. This is very risky because they send fake pictures and can even coerce your teen into sharing their personal pictures and late convince them to meet.
This app can be used as a dating app, too because it lets people meet people around there. It matches the GPS location and suggests results. This app also lets the user rate the “hotness” of others. You can imagine how this can end. The major risk is that these apps have no authentication responses. So all kinds of sick adults and sex offenders can contact your unsuspecting teens and try to harm.
This is primarily a video chatting app but with a twist: the users are not identified by their names, rather with just “You” and “Stranger”. The very mention of the word stranger and your teen is enough to send your parenting alarm ringing! This app is popular with sex predators using the app to gather personal info about teens to track them down in person.
As the name might suggest; this is a bad app for teens. Meant only for the adults, many teens use it. This app collects the location info from the mobile device and then matches it with people from nearby. The major risk involved in this app is that your teens might easily get tempted to post suggestive images as there already are too many sexually explicit images uploaded on this app. Although the app user needs to be 18, but the content is not monitored.
This again is not a dating app but is mostly used as one. It requires the ZIP code upon registration and collects location information on your child’s device. It has a feature, “Matches” that brings up matches based on the geo-location. Parents need to be ultra careful about their teens using these type of apps that collect geolocation for such purposes. Not only does it means to share your teen’s location with an app but also share it with all sorts of psycho adults, pedophiles and molesters.
An App to Block Adult Apps
But they say only technology can counter the negative aspects of technology. So parents need to rely on more technology to bring down the harmful tech. Too techy, ay? But these parental control applications aren’t. These are simple apps for a good purpose: they put parents in the driving seat and let them manage their children’s digital lifestyle like a pro! So while you can’t confiscate their smartphone for fears that they’d hook up on these dating apps, you can certainly go for some precautionary and preventive measures. Some of the advanced parental control apps let you view the apps installed on your teens’ mobile devices but also let you block certain apps, too. So if you come across some of the above-mentioned apps, you should talk it out with them but if need be, you can even block their access to your teens. At least it’s better than letting them share their personal info and pictures with complete strangers!