What is Grindr? An app review for parents
Grindr is not appropriate for children or teens. The terms and conditions of the application specifically state it is not meant for children under the age of 18 years-old however there have been instances where teenagers use the app anyway. Smarter Parenting is reviewing this application because of reported use by teenagers. Most recently, in September 2015, 4 men in Michigan were arrested and face felony charges for allegedly having sexual encounters with a 15 year-old boy through the application.
What is Grindr?
Grindr is an application used by men looking to connect with other men for friendship, companionship or sexual encounters.
Launched in 2009, the application is the fastest growing and most popular all-male, location based social media platform currently available on ios and android devices. The app boasts over 2 million daily users in over 196 different countries. The application uses the devices geolocation services to show the user men that are in their area. Users decide how much information they decide to share on the application. A profile picture is optional. Users can also send private messages to each other using text or images. There are no measures used to log into the account so anyone can set one up and share any information on the application that they want.
Grindr boasts, “0 feet away: Our mission for you” where their goal is to help users connect in person. Their website claims their goal is to connect people, face-to-face, and to eventually have them turn the app off. The application does display the distance a person is from other users in very specific terms. It will list how many miles away a person is in the general vicinity however it also lists distance according to feet.
Grindr is not appropriate for children or teens. It is an application for adult men only. Yet there are no measures to ensure who is using the application.
Nude images can be shared in private chat sessions. The images can be inappropriate and the chat content can also be highly inappropriate for teens and children. Chats may also include inappropriate language.
Geolocation for this application tries to help the user locate other users within feet of their location. This can present major problems. A user may be able to drive around, refresh the app and determine the location of other users. The potential problems for a child using the app can be very dangerous.
If your child is using this app
Many parents may be uncomfortable talking about this topic with their children. If this application is on your child’s device it is important to remain calm and to talk them about why it is there. Hopefully the discussion about internet safety and sexuality are an ongoing discussion in the home. If not, parents should address these topics in a calm and neutral time. Your discomfort in discussing this topic will set the tone for your child. They will be uncomfortable if you are uncomfortable. Use the skill of Effective Communication to begin the discussion.
If your child is under the age of 18 years-of-age the application should be deleted from your child’s device. It is inappropriate for anyone under the age of 18.
Safety begins at home
- The ability to review phones or devices that have apps at any time.
- The understanding that parents can delete or take away applications that are inappropriate.
- A Monthly review of online and internet safety practices.
- Appropriate time limits for children using devices.
- If you find that your child is using Grindr, please talk to them.
Every week Smarter Parenting reviews an app to help parents. Register with us on our website and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram for updates on upcoming items.