We answer your online safety questions with the help of the experts, CyberSafeIreland.
" I cannot get my head around Tinder and the fact that my son is using it so casually. Every evening I see him swiping left and right on various profile photos of girls he is “shown”. How does Tinder work and what does it mean if he is “matched” with a girl? Could he be matched with a fake account? I also resent the fact that he is choosing a person based solely on looks. How can I approach this subject or understand the app culture more? "
Thank you for your query. This is an excellent question and one that will help many other parents. It is true that apps such as Tinder have became a very popular way for young people to connect with other young people in a romantic capacity. It is a daunting thought for parents due to the many risks that the internet entails.
In this tab we have explored the social media platforms that young people are using. Within that post, you will find links to any security or parental controls that are relevant to each app. We hope you will find this useful.
Within an app like Tinder messaging can quickly develop in
to that of a sexually explicit nature. It is not uncommon for young people to
commence “sexting” especially on apps like Snapchat and messaging platforms that
give young people a false sense of security when it comes to private content.
Many of these apps have the function to send a “disappearing” photo or claim to
delete content immediately, but there are always ways around this.
In this post we discuss sexting and how parents can positively influence behaviour in this arena.
In terms of the superficial nature of social media apps such as Tinder, it is a very valid concern. In an article on the CyberSafeIreland website we learnt about social media can create unrealistic expectations when it comes to appearance. Heavy filtering and selective angles portray images that young people then aspire to imitate. However, there is another more positive side to this on social media.
“The body positivity movement is also strong on social media
with influencers starting to recognise the need for change and love the body we
were given. Influencers are starting to come clean about the different tricks
they use to make their bodies look Insta-perfect due to how they position
their bodies or the lighting they use”
As parents we can highlight these accounts and movements to our children and communicate the prevalence of judging a person predominantly on their physical appearance.
This post may help you start that conversation with your child.