Tinder

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Tinder App Poster Image
Photo/location matchmaking app too risky for kids.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Instructions are pretty simple: Swipe right to like or left to pass.

Violence
Sex

Tinder connects people based solely on location and whether people "like" each other based on appearance. The service is reportedly known for being used as a hookup site for sex.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tinder is a photo and messaging dating app for browsing photos of potential matches within a certain mile radius of the user's location. Swipe right to "like" a photo or left to "pass." If a person whose photo you "liked" swipes "like" on your photo, the app allows you to message each other. Along with seeking and messaging matches, users can post "moments," which are images and messages that exist for 24 hours and then disappear. As of 2016 Tinder's terms of use indicate that it can only be used by anyone 18 and up, though it previously allowed teens over 13. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 3, 8, 13, and 17 year old Written bybizzibean October 4, 2014

Make it easy for stalkers and pedophiles

Wow. My teenage just told me she met a boy on tinder. After looking into this I completely freaked out. This is UNBELIEVABLE! Location and photos of you all... Continue reading
Adult Written byhawaiinine9 June 5, 2015

Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Hi, My daughter was as she called it BORED one day and thought well she is shy and does not really meet fellas at school like she would like and thought maybe... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byTom_h14 June 5, 2016

Interesting...

After using the app for several days, I found that I had already been sent some very 'saucy' messages. The app is mostly full of creeps and should not... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byakay4756 November 3, 2016

What's it about?

Create a TINDER account using your Facebook account and enable GPS tracking on your phone. Enter your profile picture, name, age, location, and other biographical information you choose to share. View the photos of potential matches in your area that appear on your device's screen. Swipe right to "like" or left to "pass." If someone "likes" your photo back, you can communicate with that person by sending or receiving a message. Snap a photo with your device and share with all your Tinder matches at once. Tinder is app-style speed dating with the swipe of a finger.

Is it any good?

Although it may be an online version of the way a lot of public in-person matches happen -- first-look impressions leading to brief conversations -- the app's reputation as a spot to find casual sex means it's not a good place for teens. Also, the constant focus on "liking" and "passing" on people's images with only a brief glance turns dating into a purely physical, impersonal game of judging people on appearance. Its importance in the modern dating scene may be debatable, but the fact that it's inappropriate for teens is not.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about age appropriateness. Tinder is designed for older teens and adults, and updates to the terms of use indicate that it's only for those 18 and up.

  • Tinder's looks-only "like" or "pass" matchmaking style may send some users into a self-criticism frenzy if they don't receive a lot of "likes." Read Common Sense's blog post "Is Social Media Giving Your Teen a Negative Body Image?

  • What are your family's rules for safe teen dating? Discuss with your teens what you expect from them and what they should expect from others to be safe when it's time to enter the dating world.  

App details

For kids who love social networking

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