Unless you're single, you might not be familiar with dating apps such as Tinder, where users can quickly swipe through prospective dates.
But it's likely your teen knows all about these apps -- even though they're mostly designed for adults.
According to the company's own estimates, about seven percent of Tinder's users are age 13 to 17.
For starters, although many of the apps aren't intended for them, it's easy for savvy teens to get around registration-related age restrictions. Location-sharing increases the potential for a real-life meeting; less dangerous but still troubling is the heavy emphasis on looks as a basis for judgment.
It's possible that teens are only testing boundaries with these apps.
Many are eager to be on the same wavelength as their 20-something counterparts, and the prospect of meeting someone outside their social circle is exciting.
And with so much of their social life happening online, teens feel comfortable using apps to meet people.
Meeting up (and possibly hooking up) is pretty much the goal.3. This adults-only app for online dating-style social networking boasts more than 200 million users worldwide.
The app (and the companion desktop version) identifies the location of a user by tracking his or her device's location and then matches pictures and profiles of potentially thousands of people the user could contact in the surrounding area. Badoo is definitely not for kids; its policy requests that no photos of anyone under 18 be posted.However, content isn't moderated, and lots of sexual images show up as you browse.4. This app started as a website over 10 years ago and has gone through lots of iterations since.It currently exists as a location-based app that shows you the hottest -- or most attractive per their rating system -- people nearby. Users must first set up an account of their own, with photos -- and must verify their identity with a working email address or a Facebook account and their mobile phones.But these apps are not a safe way for them to explore dating.If you learn your teen is using dating apps, take the opportunity to talk about using social media safely and responsibly -- and discuss what's out of bounds.Keep lines of communication open; talk to them about how they approach dating and relationships and how to create a healthy, fulfilling one -- and note that they usually don't start with a swipe.1. This flirting app allows users to sign up as a teen or an adult.