The popularity of teen online dating has increased over the years.
With high rates of finding a match that you may not have found in your everyday life its the new big thing.
Online dating use to have a stigma with it, but now people are acceptant of this new found way to find love.
Now teens have come into the trendy online dating world.
This was alarming to me as a mother of a 12 year old who is very curious about the world around her.
What are the dangers of online dating for teens?
Everything in this blog is from my own personal experience, shares from other moms, and my own personal research.
Teen Online Dating
This blog has been a struggle for me as it hits really close to home.
My 12 year old and a few of her friends have encountered the lovely online dating world.
I think more out of curiosity and maybe attention more then anything.
My issue with online dating is that as young people they do not have the capability to completely grasp when they are in an unsafe situation.
Today’s world has normalized a lot of things that have dangers.
I’ve seen parents out looking for other parents approval on things that have a clear red flag waving in front of it.
I am not hear to bash online dating as I did meet a very wonderful man through online dating.
However, these are our children and we know as adults online dating can be dangerous for us.
So why is it normalized for our children?
Why Do Teens Choose Online Dating?
When I was a child growing up I remember I had to write letters to the boy I liked.
Then because I was shy.
I would have a friend deliver the letter to him for me.
I was afraid of rejection, people judging me because I liked this boy, or even afraid of my parents finding out about it.
If you are reading this and remember that then the reason for online dating should make sense.
Peer Pressure In Teen Dating Lives
Peer pressure is harsh on kids everyone is constantly watching their every move and passing judgement on them.
Online dating takes out the risks of involving a friend or even feeling rejected to your face.
Kids just don’t write letters anymore they text or send a message with their phone.
This gives them the ability to be private in their dating lives.
Teens today face the same obstacles that we did then.
However, technology has given them the freedom to write these messages in the comfort of their own home.
Accessibly To Their Partner
Another reason for pre teens and teens choosing online dating is accessibly.
You have access to your phones virtually anywhere.
You can have a complete conversation with someone after you separate from school or work.
When I was a child the end of the school day meant I had to wait until the next day to get a response or be able to talk to the person again.
Now you have access to a person literally all the time.
Online dating also makes it easier for teens to communicate their feelings or thoughts without feeling rejected or getting hurt.
Finding someone that isn’t from your area also can help teens feel comfortable because the person is interested in learning about them and they don’t know anything except what they are told.
Having a face to face conversation is filled with anxiety of the unknown.
But when they have their computer or phone between them and that person they don’t have to see or feel the rejection.
Teen Online Dating Confidence Builder
Online dating can help a teen boost their confidence.
Maybe they want someone to give them attention tell them they are beautiful or give them compliments on something else.
Maybe they struggle with face to face conversations and they are more able to talk to someone who isn’t in their face.
Teens struggle with their outward appearances especially with all the changes they are going through on a day to day.
Why Is Teen Online Dating Dangerous?
Teens feel safe with their devices in hand in the comfort of familiar surroundings.
This is where we as parent need to make them see how very unsafe they really are.
Predators can trick them into meeting in person or even giving them personal information.
Which puts them in harms way directly.
Dating sites are a leading trend for predators to seek out young adolescents to trick them into meeting or doing other things they might not normally do.
Predators take advantage of young peoples trusting nature.
For Example, Someone that your teen thinks is a 16 year old active in sports is really an adult.
These predators will find common interest or make themselves seem to have common interest to gain the child’s trust.
Here’s the even scarier part only 5% of predators pretend to be teens online.
Which means your teens are trusting a grown adult to love them and take care of their romance needs.
Predators are very good at getting children to comply with their wants and needs.
A lot of teens are signing up for and using adult dating sites.
Teen Online Dating How To Keep Them Safe
If you are going to allow your teens to online date then make sure it’s clear on what’s ok and what is not ok.
Remember to have quality conversations with your teens so you can know what’s going on.
This is so important so that our teens feel comfortable enough to talk to us.
Make sure they are aware of teen dating violence so they know what to expect.
Come up with away out if you allow them to meet.
If you need some ideas check out my blog teen dating violence: what every parent must know.
There are many apps that allow you keep track of what your teen is doing on their devices if you aren’t wanting them to be able to get on theses sites.
Family link is a really good one and really easy to set up and use.
Verizon has one of the best apps in my opinion it’s called Verizon smart family.
I use both apps on my kids devices.
They both are easy to use and set up however Verizon smart family has many more options and is more detailed in what you can block.