A Mom Blog Social Network
Since most of my readers are women with children aged 33-45, most of you probably haven’t heard of tinder, the new iphone app. I just learned about it last week from Tabitha and I thought the whole concept was rather fascinating. Fascinating that people in their late teens, early 20′s spend most of their time connecting with people via social media and fascinating that as Mothers we have another app/social media platform we need to concern ourselves with. As if Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Stumbleupon, RebelMouse, Twitter, and whatever else I’m missing isn’t’ enough to monitor, now we have tinder.
When My Space first came out I was horrified at the concept and terrified to let Tabitha have an account. I eventually let her join in the fun under the condition I always had the password and I religiously checked her account. Once Facebook arrived on the scene, the same rules applied. Louie and I would check her account everyday, especially during high school on the weekend mornings to make sure there wasn’t any discrepancies as to where she claimed to be and where she actually was as evidenced by her Facebook postings. Now that she is 20 I don’t bother to check and most times try to avoid looking at her posts in case there is more skin or beers in a photo than I want to see.
Last weekend she accepted a friend request from some girl and within minutes she was tagged in 4 different pictures of women exposing their breasts. The pictures weren’t of her and she didn’t know the people, but she started yelling for me to help. I ran in her room and she quickly explained the situation. She started working on her phone to delete them while I went to the house computer to do the same thing. Within minutes we deleted the photos or rather untagged her and she unfriended the girl. Funny enough one of my very best friends who lives in New York called me within minutes of this incident. As we were talking, she nonchalantly mentioned that Tabitha had been tagged in some racy photos. I started laughing and explained what had happened. She was so relieved. I guess it was funny because she is 20 but if that happened to my 14 year old, I would be pissed and horrified. So back to tinder.
Tinder is an iphone app that in my opinion is a combination of Match.com and Facebook. Because I have been married forever, I have never been on any dating websites but I heard about them from numerous people. The cool thing about tinder is that all the potential people are within 30 miles of you which also means that you sweet innocent teenage daughter or son could be meeting people online and hook up with them in driving distance. Scary, but true and a reality we need to be aware of. If you child is an adult like mine, the concept is cool.
You download the app, make an account and they present you with pictures of the opposite sex, (have no idea how this works if you are gay) within a 30 mile radius of your location. If you hit “like” to a picture and they like your picture back , you have a match and can start messaging via the tinder forum. The whole thing is anonymous until a match is made. So apparently no one can see if you ignore or fail to like their picture. Why I liked the concept for Tabitha was because she met this cute guy and he used to work with one of her friends. So because he was local, she asked around about him and people within her circle of friends had met him before and confirmed he was who he claimed to be.
So I think so this is a safer alternative to normal online dating. I did read a few reviews on tinder and apparently most of the participants are young, such as high school students. It looks like they are working on updating the app so they can group people by age, but until then beware because you kid may be on tinder connecting with some old dude.
My final thought on children and social media is this. Social media isn’t going away, it is only go to encompass more and more of our lives, so learn how to manage it in a healthy and safe way for both you and your children. Trinity who is almost 11 was just allowed to join Instagram last week. I helped her set up her account, I have her screen name, her password and she used my email so I can monitor all aspects of the account. We also agreed she would only invite and follow people she personally knows. So now I have an new job each day, monitor her account. I am not a stalker but it is important to be diligent to help keep our children safe.
Have a great weekend……