ParentsTinderFinding a girlfriend or boyfriend is a powerful driving force for teenagers around the world. The need to connect intimately with others is a defining moment in the transition from child to adult. Now, think back to our own teen years. Typically, we met prospective dates at school functions, religious get togethers, or outings to the mall.

Fast forward a few years (or twenty some- but who’s counting?) our own teens want to meet a special someone. However, they no longer need to rely on cute meet greets like we did. Yes, our children’s dating rituals have evolved with the digital revolution leaving mall hallways for power walkers. Surprisingly, many of our kids are turning to Internet dating sites, like Tinder, to to connect with peers or possible dates.

Swiping To Like: Teens And Tinder

Tinder, a very adult dating app, is widely known for promoting relationships, romantic and sexual, between adults. Users sort through images that are known to be sexual and suggestive, swiping right or left to like or dismiss another person. If a person swipes right, they can exchange information with the intention to meet in real life.

A shocking 7 percent of Tinder’s registered users are teens between the ages of 13 and 17. The site admits that it sorts users based on their listed profile ages, trying to pair other teens with others in the same age category. However, many of our kids will lie about their ages on social media sites which can open their profiles up to older and more experienced users.

Trending: Teens And Online Dating Apps

To complicate the issue of teens and online dating, we need to consider that 70 percent of teens seek ways to hide their digital activity from us. They manage to do this by dimming their screens, shutting windows, hiding apps, and clearing their browser history. We need to realize that all this secrecy can inadvertently lead our children to frightening or dangerous situations they lack the maturity to handle on their own. This makes it vital that we monitor and know what our kids are really doing with their Smartphones and devices.

Contributor: Hilary Smith

About Hilary Smith: Born and raised in Austin, TX, Hilary Smith is a free-lance journalist whose love of gadgets, technology and business has no bounds. After becoming a parent she now enjoys writing about family and parenting related topics. @HilaryS33