Teens in need teens dating site
My LOL is one such online dating site that is marketed as “Google’s Number One Dating Site for Teens”, with a minimum age requirement of 14, whilst another is Teenspot, which offers chat rooms for its members entitled “singles”, “flirting” and “hottub”.
Another one that is used perhaps more commonly amongst Australian teenagers is Tinder.
What is perhaps more worrying, however, is the fact that the promotion of such sites to a younger audience doesn't seem to just stop there.
An article published last year in American magazine, Seventeen, whose target audience is females aged 12-19, appeared to put the idea out there that online dating sites may be the way forward, with the writer of the article (a college aged blogger) enthusiastically regaling the story of how her friend had become engaged six months after meeting her partner on line.
Susan Mc Lean, Australia’s leading expert in cyber safety and young people, echoes much of the advice given by Brewer and is quite clear in expressing the importance of the role of parenting in the age of the internet and social media.“The Internet has allowed people to connect with anyone and everyone, and children and young people are earlier adopters of technology.
Children these days don’t have an online and offline world.
A recent survey conducted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority revealed that the vast majority of eight to 17 year-olds had accessed the Internet in the last four weeks, with figures reflecting 95 percent usage between the 8 to 11 year olds, and 100 percent usage amongst the 16-17 year olds.
Rachel Hynes, mum to a teenager and publisher of the website for parents of teens The Kids are All Right, believes that at the present time social networking sites remain the way in which most teenagers are meeting people and describes these connections, rather aptly, as the equivalent of modern day pen friends.
Whilst Rachel has no data on how often teens who meet online are actually meeting up in ‘real life’, she is certain that it happens, particularly in cases where people live within the same area and have access to public transport and the excuse of going to an event where they can meet.
The very nature of social media after all is that it encourages communication and connection, which may well lead to IRL (in real life) meet ups.
Obviously the level of this communication and connection is probably not the quality ones most parents would prefer.”Brewer highlights that the key for parents is to maintain awareness around everything that their child is doing online and believes that whilst this isn’t necessarily a trend that is hugely popular at the present time, it could well be something that we see increase in the future as children get more sexualised and more emphasis is put on sex and sex acts as a ‘currency’ to prove a child’s worth and skill.