Finding it Online
Included in the world of information and opportunities on the Internet, is a way to meet romantic and/or sexual partners online. Meeting new potential partners has always been exciting for healthy teens. But now the playing field has changed.
What to know
While you may or may not think that it is a good thing that young people meet romantic partners online, hand-wringing and admonitions of "don't do that!" aren't going to keep teens from finding their way to dating apps and sites if they want. They'll just meet people online and not tell you about it. So here are some basics to keep in mind when discussing online dating with your teen:
Under 18 is under ageMost dating/sex-seeking websites are limited to people over 18. But lying about your age to gain access to these sites is easy.
Lots of lying onlineWhile it’s easy for teens to lie about being over 18, it’s equally easy for older adults to pose as being younger than they actually are.
Hook-ups vs. dating sitesDifferent online sites serve different needs. Some, like Tinder and grindr, are used for casual one-nighters. Others, like e-harmony and ok-cupid, foster romantic relationships.
Social media meet-upsIn spite of all the dating sites out there, people can meet anywhere online, including social media platforms like facebook, twitter, tumblr, and Instagram.
In any relationship there is the potential for abuse, and online isn’t the only place where teens might encounter sexual violence. But a recent report finds that rape linked to online dating is up 450 % in the last five years. Here are some pointers to go through with your teen in order to help keep everyone safe and happy: