Dating apps now targeting teens

0
71
WEBnathaniel park header.jpg

For years, dating websites were thought for the middle-aged adults who have lost the desire to find love in traditional ways. In the past few months, however, a drastic shift in the demographic of users has occurred. Due to the introduction of free and purchase dating apps for smart phones, many teenagers and young adults joined the millions and taken to the web to make new connections. With this peculiar development the creators of many of these apps are now targeting younger audiences in their marketing.

For years, dating websites were thought for the middle-aged adults who have lost the desire to find love in traditional ways. In the past few months, however, a drastic shift in the demographic of users has occurred. Due to the introduction of free and purchase dating apps for smart phones, many teenagers and young adults joined the millions and taken to the web to make new connections. With this peculiar development the creators of many of these apps are now targeting younger audiences in their marketing.

One of the first of theses dating apps to emerge is the gay dating service Grindr. The scheme itself is fairly simple with the user creating a profile and then sees the profiles of other users that are in closest vicinity. This app allows the user to open a chat with someone whose profile they liked. From there, the two can decide if they want to go on a date, be friends, or often times, hook-up. Similar gay dating apps surfaced afterwards such as Hornet, and Jack’d. But soon the market expanded and straight friendly dating apps arose, two of them being Zoosk and Tinder. These apps work under similar guidelines and algorithms, and are used for many of the same reasons. Tinder, one of the newer dating apps to hit the markets, is based off of first impressions. When viewing a profile, viewers can either swipe right to ‘like’ the profile or left to ‘pass’ it. This is a unique feature for Tinder as many of the other apps simply lay out the profiles for you to choose from.

One concern that some have with many of these apps is that the content offered may not be age appropriate for teenagers. Most of the apps have an 18-year or older policy in place to combat this. However, it is very easy to combat this stipulation by creating a fake e-mail account that has the users age set at 18. There are very few security measures once you are in the app, and underage teens are easily able to take advantage of the app.

But conflict has risen over the morality of using such apps, as many simply use them as a means of hooking up rather than finding dates. The superficial nature of these apps contribute to this as users are able to filter their results by an number of factors such as race, age, height, and weight in order to find their “perfect match.” This means that often times that at the point when two users find each other on the app, it is clear that they are simply looking for sex. Critics of dating apps argue that the apps encourage promiscuous behavior among the users and leave teens at risk of contracting STDs due to their lack of knowledge on their sexual partner.

Regardless of anyone’s stance on dating apps, it becomes clear that one thing is important above all else—the user’s safety. At the end of the day it is the decision of the individual to participate in using such apps or not. And it is the responsibility of the people involved to ensure that what they are doing is safe. Anyone deciding to take the technological route for dating should not only make wise choices while using these apps, but also make themselves aware of any risks that they may face.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here