It never ends. There is always some new app or social media site to be concerned about. I have said this many times and it is still true: Technology is not necessarily a bad thing. It all depends on how it is being used.
Tinder is an app for Apple or Android phones that was created in September 2012. It seems to be increasing in popularity among young people. Tinder enables you to connect with people that think you are attractive. There are some people that use Tinder to locate one night stands. Tinder can be an easy way for tweens and teens to find hook ups.
Here is Tinder’s description from the App Store: “Tinder finds out who likes you nearby and connects you with them if you’re also interested. It’s the new way to meet people around you.” The Tinder tagline is, “Tinder is how people meet. It’s like real life, but better.”
HOW IT WORKS: The app makes sure that GPS is turned on on your phone so it can know where you are. The app shows you photos of people nearby. You decide whether or not you like what you see by hitting either a green heart button or a red X button. If you click on the heart, the person is notified. No notification is sent to the person when you press the X. Tinder users remain anonymous until both like each other, at that time they can start sending messages to each other.
The App is rated for users 12 years of age or older. The rating is due to “Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content or Nudity; Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor; Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes.” I don’t see why a 12 year old should be using this app.
Tinder helps make face to face meetings happen by revealing a user’s location. Location services are one of the biggest features of the app. You can adjust the range location and narrow it down to a mile. It worries me that a kid could give out their location to a person that they have never actually met. How do you really know who you are about to meet?
Many teens call Tinder, “The One Night Stand app”. It is an app that you can use to easily find people to “hook up” with. Do you think it is wise to decide to hook up with a person based on looking at their picture for a few minutes on a phone and having sent a few messages back and forth?
Tinder can be a playground full of potential young victims for online predators. Even if a person is not a predator, some people on Tinder (as with many other social apps and sites) are just rude and vulgar. So much so, there is now a Facebook page called Tinder Creeps. Here is a small sample of what you can find on Tinder Creeps:
TOO YOUNG TO BE USING TINDER:
Today it’s Tinder and tomorrow there will likely be another app or site to be concerned about. Talk to your kids early and often about online safety. Please know what’s going on.
John L. Jones