All About Kids
Teens and Tinder: Teaching Them About Online Dating
The pandemic has deprived many of us, including our teens, with genuine human connection which is why some of them turn to Tinder for it.
Swipe left for nah, swipe right for yas — Tinder‘s made itself famous among teens easily for being a dating app, replacing Omegle as a matchmaking site. The app’s probably booming with more users now due to the lack of physical human connection since many of our teens are looking for friends or possible romantic partner material. Chances are, your teen’s probably using it and while it’s not wrong to date, it’s good to take some precautions with them.
1. Personal information sharing’s a no-no
While creating a genuine connection means sharing something personal about oneself, we sometimes overshare which is dangerous if your teen has a tendency to do so. Remind your teens that not everything they see on Tinder may be true and that they have to watch what kind of information they divulge to the other side. But also let them know that there is some information they can divulge like what their favorite color is, their favorite coffee, etc. That way, it’ll give them a chance to learn about the other side, too.
2. Physical Meet-Ups are a bad idea!
Until the lockdown lifts, teens aren’t allowed to go around since they’re under 18 years old. Remind them that the majority of them are not vaccinated yet and that it’ll be best to wait until they get theirs. We can’t use tradition or “because I said so!” as a reason why they shouldn’t go out since they might use the 2021 argument. Instead, let them know that COVID-19, although there have been developments, is still out there and they certainly don’t want to end up catching it.
3. Teaching your teens about boundaries
Although it will frustrate us when they start reinforcing their boundaries with us, we know it’ll do them good in the long run especially when they deal with other people. We won’t be able to hover over them as our teens go through Tinder but having them practice and realize what they’re willing to deal with can help them weed out people they don’t want to deal with. By helping them practice how to protect themselves and negotiate, teens will be able to go through Tinder a little more safely.
4. “Be a houseplant”
An interesting technique that helps us parents monitor our teens without being imposing. Since our teens are trying to break away and grow on their own, they might be more resistant to our advice. This is where we learn how to balance active and passive involvement. Being a houseplant means being involved but not actively sticking ourselves into the situation. It’s being aware and when our teen needs help, we’re more than ready to help them with everything we got.
5. On Tinder: teach your teens to keep receipts
The good thing about everything being online is that there’s a receipt for almost everything. Being on Tinder’s no different either for your teen. Especially if you and your teen find something strange with the person they’re talking to, make sure they take a screenshot of the conversation to make sure that if things go down, they can be reported to the proper authorities. Especially if your teen feels like they’re being cyber-bullied on Tinder, having the receipts can help the authorities track the perp down and bring them to justice.
Keeping online dating safe for your teens on Tinder
While we want our teens to stay focused on their studies, we can’t stop them from interacting with all sorts of people especially when they develop a connection with them online. It’s a side-effect of the pandemic cutting them off from meeting new people and establishing their individual identity outside of the family. Although we’ll have a strong urge to say no especially if we’re not familiar with Tinder, it’s good to keep an open ear and see what your teens’ reason is for going on Tinder.