Dating customs have changed since you were a teenager.The most striking difference is the young age at which children now begin dating: on average, twelve and a half for girls, and thirteen and a half for boys.
While people of all ages should use caution, meeting strangers online presents a particular danger to adolescents.Teens may exude social media-savvy, but they’re prone to risky behavior. And they often aren’t developmentally ready to spot red flags, says Christine Elgersma, senior editor of parenting education for .It’s critically important, then, for parents and teens to maintain an open dialogue about what teenagers are up to in real life and online, and to step in when necessary.Today, social media enables teens to connect with and meet up with strangers much more easily than ever before.While there may be the occasional romantic twosome among the members, the majority are unattached.
If anything, youngsters in the group spend as much time interacting with their same-sex friends as they do with members of the opposite sex. Ron Eagar, a pediatrician at Denver Health Medical Center, views group dating as a healthy way for adolescents to ease into the dating pool rather than dive in.
Online dating has made its way to teens, with disastrous results.
In 2012, the friend-finding and dating app Skout temporarily shut down its teen component after three teen users reported that men posing as teenagers on the app raped and sexually assaulted them. A 17-year-old New Jersey senior agreed that it’s very uncommon, and added that apps like Tinder are “usually used ironically.”According to teens, the real way to meet romantic prospects online is through their own traditional social media accounts.
Topping their list of questions is, “How do you know when you’re in love with somebody?
” They are also genuinely curious about their parents’ courtship and marriage (“Mom, did you fall in love with Dad at first sight?
However, you might not recognize it as dating per se.