Many are eager to be on the same wavelength as their 20-something counterparts, and the prospect of meeting someone outside their social circle is exciting.
And with so much of their social life happening online, teens feel comfortable using apps to meet people.
But these apps are not a safe way for them to explore dating.
Keep lines of communication open; talk to them about how they approach dating and relationships and how to create a healthy, fulfilling one -- and note that they usually don't start with a swipe.1. This flirting app allows users to sign up as a teen or an adult.
They're then placed in the appropriate peer group, where they can post to a feed, comment on others' posts, add pictures and chat.
They'll get notifications when other users near their geographic area join, and they can search other areas by cashing in points.
According to the company's own estimates, about seven percent of Tinder's users are age 13 to 17.
Although adults use these apps both for casual hookups and for scouting out more long-term relationships, they're risky for teens.
For starters, although many of the apps aren't intended for them, it's easy for savvy teens to get around registration-related age restrictions. Location-sharing increases the potential for a real-life meeting; less dangerous but still troubling is the heavy emphasis on looks as a basis for judgment.
It's possible that teens are only testing boundaries with these apps.
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