The desire to find romance can be very strong and it’s only natural that our highly connected teens turn to social media and dating sites to help them find a date.
Today we are going to look into online dating in society and the role it plays in how our teens look for companionship.
Typically, online dating is more popular for older age groups, peaking among the mid-20 and mid-40 crowd.We find about 39 percent of middle age people are actively seeking romantic relationships from behind a screen and keyboard.Online datings sites are typically created with intention to encourage hookups, both casual and long term, for adults—not teens.However, research has found a growing trend in younger people registering for online dating sites.It is estimated that 10 percent of 18 to 24 year olds are seeking dates online.
One of the most popular dating apps, Tinder, is geared toward adults, but admits that 7 percent of it’s users are between the ages of 13 and 17.
Other online dating sites, like Skout, have dedicated teens-only sections where teens can interact with others in their peer group—although there is no official age verification.
So much of our teens’ social life happens online that, while older generations may balk at the idea of online dating, teens don’t bat an eyelash when trying out a dating app to meet people.
Many are looking for actual dates, while some teenagers are merely testing boundaries, or attempting to feel mature by seeking out someone online that is outside their normal peer group.
Whether we like it or not, parents need to realize that our children ARE reaching out digitally, and with online dating becoming a norm for adults, it’s something teens are comfortable with exploring, too.
Expecting our teens to avoid it completely isn’t necessarily realistic, especially once they get older.