If you do the math based on a late-2014 story in The New York Times, which reported that the app had nearly 50 million active users at the time, you’re left with well over a million users under 18 on the platform.
As a precaution, minors on Tinder can see only other minors. D., a clinical psychologist who specializes in adolescents, says, “If that’s how they’re making conversation, cut it off.”Adults who want to prey on children can lie about their age too.
Facebook was mentioned 46 times in the open-ended responses to this question, while the second-most popular (Instagram) was cited only eight times. I still talk to her, but we’re not together.” And for some teens, online relationships, like offline ones, can be uncomfortable and devolve into creepy situations. Older teens ages 15 to 17 are more likely than younger teens to search for information online about current or prospective romantic partners, with 35% of older teens searching, while 16% of younger teens do so.
Twitter, Kik and online gaming also were mentioned in a small number of responses, as were a range of other social media, video and chat sites (Hot or Not, IMVU, My Space, Omegle, Meet Me and Snap Chat each were mentioned once in these responses). One high school girl related the experience of one of her friends: High School Girl: “She met this guy through Facebook and … But he said he lived in Florida and then last weekend, she got a ring in the mail from him. Similarly, older teens are more likely than younger ones to search for information online about a past romantic partner – while 17% of 15- to 17-year-olds have searched for information about someone they dated or hooked up with in the past, just 7% of all 13- to 14-year-olds have done so.
That’s what Alyssa did and how she ended up listed as 18. “If you’re 16 but saying you’re 19, that will put you in an uncomfortable situation should you meet up. Some 18- and 19-year-olds whom Alyssa swiped right on were overtly sexual. (Some popular dating apps, including Hinge and Happn, don’t allow anyone under 18 to join; others like Meet Me and Bumble, on the other hand, do.)Perhaps because of these risks, many teens seem to be cautious.
In fact, 17% of teens rate Instagram as the most important social network according to Fact Browser, which is up five percent from the previous year.“We want people to be safe,” says Rosette Pambakian, Tinder’s vice president of global communica- tions and branding. In 2012 the meeting app Skout temporarily suspended its under-18 section, which had safeguards similar to Tinder’s, after adult men were accused of raping and sexually assaulting minors in three separate incidents.“If you’re not lying about your age, we’re not showing you 40-year-olds.” Still, teens can easily circum- vent this hurdle by lying about their age on Facebook, which is how Tinder authenticates new users (the minimum age to join Facebook is 13). According to Augusta Nissly, the program coordinator for Family Online Safety Institute, lying is one of the most dangerous things you can do when using dating apps. They allegedly pretended to be under 18 in order to lure their victims.A majority of teens with dating experience (76%, or 26% of all teens) say they have only dated people they met via in-person methods. One-in-five (20%) of all teens have used their social networks to find new partners by following or friending someone because a friend suggested they might want to date them.Still, a quarter of teen daters (24%, or 8% of all teens) have dated or hooked up with someone they first met online. Older teens are more likely to do this than younger ones; 23% of 15- to 17-year-olds have followed someone at a friend’s behest for dating purposes, while 15% of 13- and 14-year-olds have done so.Half of this group (representing 12% of all teens with dating experience, or 4% of all American teens) have met just one romantic partner online, while the other half have met more than one partner online. And so she told him that it was the wrong address because he asked her. Boys and girls are equally likely to friend a potential partner on another friend’s recommendation.