For starters, although many of the apps aren't intended for them, it's easy for savvy teens to get around registration-related age restrictions. Location-sharing increases the potential for a real-life meeting; less dangerous but still troubling is the heavy emphasis on looks as a basis for judgment.
It's possible that teens are only testing boundaries with these apps.
Many are eager to be on the same wavelength as their 20-something counterparts, and the prospect of meeting someone outside their social circle is exciting.
But these apps are not a safe way for them to explore dating.
If you learn your teen is using dating apps, take the opportunity to talk about using social media safely and responsibly -- and discuss what's out of bounds.
Keep lines of communication open; talk to them about how they approach dating and relationships and how to create a healthy, fulfilling one -- and note that they usually don't start with a swipe.1. This flirting app allows users to sign up as a teen or an adult.
They're then placed in the appropriate peer group, where they can post to a feed, comment on others' posts, add pictures and chat.
Unless you're single, you might not be familiar with dating apps such as Tinder, where users can quickly swipe through prospective dates.
But it's likely your teen knows all about these apps -- even though they're mostly designed for adults.
According to the company's own estimates, about seven percent of Tinder's users are age 13 to 17.
Although adults use these apps both for casual hookups and for scouting out more long-term relationships, they're risky for teens.
They'll get notifications when other users near their geographic area join, and they can search other areas by cashing in points.