Review of Grindr (Social Media)
Imagine seeing an unknown man leaving the hotel room where you and your teenager are staying.
A parent woke up early in the morning to notice the bathroom light on. He then saw a strange man leaving the bathroom and his son following behind. He called authorities and what he discovered was horrifying.
His thirteen year-old son used the social media application Grindr where he met men online to coordinate meeting to engage in sexual activity. The teen planned to meet two men that morning. His parents and authorities were able to capture the second man at the hotel. The first man was captured later by police.
Let’s be honest, children don’t want to use Facebook because their parents are mostly like on Facebook. This has opened the market to a plethora of social media applications that children can use, often without their parents knowing.
Parenting is busy and being on top of all the new social media applications can be difficult. We understand this. Our goal is to review different social media applications for parents to give them a heads up on what their child may be using without their knowledge.
What is Grindr?
Grindr is a Social Media application that is popular with gay men looking to connect with other men in their area. It is meant to be used by adults but anyone can download and use the app.
To create an account a person only needs an email address, password and they must agree to their terms and conditions. The terms and conditions include verifying your age. The app states it is for people 18 years old and older. There is no way to verify this so anyone can put in any age they wish.
The application uses the GPS location of the device to find others in your area.
A person can create a profile that includes their age, ethnicity, height, weight, relationship status and a brief profile description. After creating a profile you can browse others on the app and a green light indicates who is online. A general location in miles and drive time is included.
The app allows someone to create a list of favorite profiles with the option of narrowing down profiles to specific characteristics (weight, age, height, body types, ethnicities, etc.) The chatting option allows individuals to also send pictures.
There are upgrade features for a fee but the basic application is free for both Android and iOS devices.
The dangers of this application include:
- It is very easy to find and meet strangers.
- It is easy for people to find an individual as location services are enabled.
- It does have some sexually suggestive profile photos.
- There are no ways to secure the age of the people using the application.
- Sharing of inappropriate photos and easy sharing of location.
No teenager should use Grindr
Do you know what applications your child is using on their phones or devices?
Please talk to your child about safety online.
Next week we will review 3 additional social media applications parents should know about.
Is there an app you would like us to review? Let us know.
Siope is a Mental Health Therapist who has been working with children and families for over 13 years. Siope coordinates efforts in support of mental health treatment options for underserved populations. He is a father and enjoys spending time with his family. Siope is a member of the Smarter Parenting Team.