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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.
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.
They'll get notifications when other users near their geographic area join, and they can search other areas by cashing in points.
They receive notifications when someone "checks" them out but must pay points to see who it is.
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.