Middle schoolers getting involved with Tinder app - KCTV5 News

Middle schoolers getting involved with Tinder app meant for adult dating

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It's a dating app meant for users ages 18 and older, but Eyewitness News has learned middle school and high school students are all over Tinder.

Tinder is best described as a dating app, which allows you to provide information and interests that's shared with other people on the network.

"You can heart to like them or an x to not like them," said Scott Driscoll of Internet Safety Concepts when describing Tinder.

Driscoll told Eyewitness News that he has been keeping us up to date on apps that our children are getting into and said he feels Tinder is in no way meant for kids.

"It's clearly in their privacy policy and their user agreement that you have to be over 18," Driscoll said. "It was brought to my attention by middle school principals and middle school parents that their young children are using it."

People can look at your picture to see if they like or don't like you. If two people like each other, they get instant communication with each other.

"Young kids are dealing with self-esteem issues sometimes and if someone likes them that's going to make them feel really good," Driscoll said. "That's gonad start with a friendship that might not be appropriate."

Tinder also works with the GPS in your smartphone and can find users based on where you're located. 

"Let's say for example I go to the mall and I turn Tinder on and I start scrolling through and I see a picture of someone I like, it can tell me they're within one mile of me," Driscoll said.

Chances are that person is in the mall and could find you based on your pictures.

"The major concern I have with this is my child being exposed to pictures that aren't appropriate for his or her age and communicating with strangers," Driscoll said. "And possibly having strangers trying to meet my child."

Driscoll said your best defense is to set parental controls. Most smartphones allow you to set age and rating restrictions.

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