Tinder for teens: Dangers of minors on dating apps

March 6, 2020

Social media services, like Snapchat and Instagram have consistently been useful tools for teenagers to create conversation with others. Recently, a whole different type of social media has become popular among minors that introduces a whole new set of dangers. These services are commonly referred to as “dating sites”.


Tinder is typically the first service that comes to mind when talking about internet dating services, as it is widely considered to be the most popular dating site. Tinder recently reported a U.S. mobile audience of 7.86 million users in September 2019, making the app the most popular online dating service in the United States, according to Statista.


One of the biggest rules Tinder has in place is it’s age restriction policy. Tinder states on it’s website that users must be 18 years of age to create an account and use the service. However, this policy hasn’t prevented teenagers from using the service.


“My friend told me she had an account on Tinder, and she said it was entertaining so I decided to get it as a joke,” senior Delaney Phillips said.


It is not uncommon for teenagers to be shamed for not having a significant other. Combine this with the peer pressure some teens receive to do things outside of their comfort zone to be socially accepted, and suddenly the “swipe-right” culture of dating apps becomes even more appealing to teenagers. This is especially true when they struggle with creating relationships in person, or are seen as “not popular”.


Apps like Yubo and Yellow have been able to find success by marketing to this crowd. Yubo and Yellow are both services built to recreate a similar experience and feel as Tinder. The description these two apps give is what helps it stand out compared to Tinder.


Yubo describes its service as a way to help “make new friends”, and “meet new people”. Yubo takes users and separates them into one of two communities, one designed for adults, and one for teenagers.


Just like any form of social media, there’s no way to prove one’s age when registering, which results in many unauthorized users joining the non-intended group, and puts teenagers at risk when adults shield themselves behind teenager profiles.


Moreover, adults aren’t the only ones hiding behind false identities. Teens can be just as guilty. Junior Tannor Lambert created a Yubo profile under a false identity of a historic figure, and was banned from the service after just 15 minutes.


“I just thought the app would be a fun thing to use for a little bit. I never had any serious intentions with it”. Lambert said.


The common theme with teenagers is that they're only using these dating apps only for a source of entertainment. “I ended up snapchatting a few people I met off Tinder, nothing lasted very long and I never took anything too serious” Phillips said.


Despite teenagers claiming that they are just using this type of social media for entertainment, parents still fear for their children's safety.


“You never know who is on the other end of the dating site. It is often a predator and Ohio is high in human trafficking.” said Chrisi Hagan, who has a son in the 11th grade at Orange.


When asked about what we can do to better prevent minors from using dating sites, Hagan replied “Education of realities via short videos on social media sites used by teens with popular musicians, athletes, or actors they like can help influence minors. Also, parental reinforcement of the value of healthy relationships can help”.


It is important for parents to be observant of their teenagers, especially in a world full of developing technology that provides frequent dangers.

Please reload


Print Editions

Online Editions

Please reload


Please reload

Orange Media publications are official student-produced mediums of news and information published by the Journalism students of Olentangy Orange High School. The publications have been established as a designated public forum for student journalists to inform, educate and entertain readers as well as for the discussion of issues of concern to their audience. They  will not be reviewed or restrained by school officials, adults or sources prior to publication.

The content of the publications is determined by and reflects only the views of the student staff and not school officials or the school itself. They will not publish any material, determined by the staff or adviser, that is libelous, obscene or disruptive to the school day.

The advisers are Kari Phillips and Brian Nicola. Readers may respond to the publications through Letters to the Editor. Letters may be mailed, e-mailed to thecourierstaff@gmail.com or dropped off to room 2223. The staff asks that submissions be 300 words or less and contain the author’s name and signature. Editors reserve the right to edit or withhold publication of letters.

The publications strive to uphold the Canons of Professional Journalism, which includes accuracy, impartiality, etc. Therefore, major errors will be corrected in the next issue. Distinction will be marked between news and opinion stories.

This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now