Today, all people have to do to meet someone is swipe right. That doesn’t exclude teens.
Spotafriend is an app that uses locations to connect teenagers. Like the popular Tinder app, Spotafriend allows teens to swipe left to pass on someone and swipe right to accept. If both people accept, they can chat privately.
Although the app is for teens, it’s easy for anyone to create an account. Predators can use this app as a tool to try and meet up with teenagers.
Teens are also logging on to adult dating apps. Although most adults on these dating apps are looking for a genuine relationship, there can be people who are searching specifically for teenagers.
National Children’s Advocacy Center Community Education Program Manager and Therapist, Beth Jackson, said, “People that prey on children and teens, they’re looking at what they’re interested in. That’s why it’s so important, too for people kind of as a backstory to realize don’t put too much information about yourself out there.”
There are several ways to monitor what your kids are doing online, but it’s also important to talk with them about online dating.
“They are interested in dating. They’re interested in sex. Nobody likes to talk about it, but we need to be realistic as parents and caretakers that they’re looking to date. What we need to remind them is just a lot of caution, that it’s all those same messages we’ve been saying for years that for anybody, whether teen or adult using a dating app, people may not be who they say they are,” said Jackson.