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Tinder Babies and the Hook-Up Generation

October 28, 2015

Forget your parents choosing your date. Forget going to a dance club to meet and get to know people. Forget hitting a bar to meet others. Enter Tinder.

Tinder is a person to person matching app that has four basis features. The first is the ability to locate people near you (you can determine the distance) who also have the app on their smart-phone. The second feature is your picture, so that when your phone is alerted to other app users near you, you can view each other’s picture. The third feature is the ability to swipe their picture on your phone with your finger. Swiping the picture left or right, indicates whether or not you have an interest in the person. And the last feature is the ability to communicate with the other person and you access this ability if you both express an interest in each other. To be clear, this is a matching app that makes matches based on proximity, your picture and an electronic expression of mutual interest. Nothing more.

Beyond that, the use of this app and others like it is the present day enabler of the one night stand. However, also in this day and age, that one night stand may only be the time it takes to remove your clothes, do the deed and leave.

Some women are apparently enticed to use the app and engage in the risky business believing it may be the only way to start a relationship. Apparently many men are using the app only with the intention for the self-gratification of the quicky. Some men also apparently boast of their prowess of how fast they can turn a mutual expression of interest into a notch on their belt.

Standing clear of judgment and moral implications, let alone the associated health and well being risks, this new approach to meeting one’s carnal needs is inadvertently creating a new generation of hook-up or Tinder babies between persons whose only known mutual attraction is by virtue of a swipe of the finger.

These situations are making for a new generation of parents who know absolutely nothing about each other, fighting it out over the parentage and then the actual parenting of their children. Persons who in their wildest dreams would never have dated each other, had they had a decent conversation first, are now tied to each other through their mutual and unanticipated offspring. Just imagine having to co-parent after a fight of actual parentage and where one may have hooked-up with the hopes of a relationship and the other solely for their personal gratification. .

These are creating some remarkably challenging disputes, sorting out the care of these children between persons who would otherwise never have anything to do with each other.

No easy answer, but one suggestion.

For goodness sake, Tinder users, for any number of reasons, please use a condom.

By the way, the age of the average user of this app is young. So parents of teens, check their phones.

Maybe I’m old fashioned, but that saying still makes sense, “An ounce of prevention…..

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker.

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships.

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One Comment
  1. Shane Adamson permalink

    Hi Gary,

    Wow !! Thanks for the knowledge infusion……How dangerous is this app for kids without morals and values? And real life experiences….Good parenting starts as soon as they are born…. I hope we instill values and morals that will carry them through their lifetime…..I have an agreement with my children that I get access to all their electronic devices at any time to check , view and read .

    Thanks for sharing and much appreciated.

    Talk soon and take care !!


    Shane Adamson

    President, Owner.

    659 Ellengale Road, Burlington, Ontario L7T 3N9


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