Yellow dating app

Should you let your teenager on Yellow app: Tinder for the young?

Should you let your teenager on Yellow app,  the new flirting/dating site used by over 7 million generation Z’s and dubbed the Tinder for young people?

Well the short answer is, not if you don’t want your child judged purely by aesthetics and not if you don’t want them asked every other minute to send out some nudes to random strangers.

But let’s look at some facts first.

Yellow works very much in the same way as the adult dating site Tinder. Essentially you view a stream of photos of people within whatever geographical location you decide and then you choose your potential suitors based on their profile pic and swipe left or right depending on whether said pic floats your boat. If they like you in return, voila, you have a match and can go ahead messaging each other, chatting and arranging a time to ‘hook up’.

Now the great thing about this app for many is the ability to connect it to your Snapchat account. Snapchat is probably the most popular social media site for young people right now but it is difficult to find new friends unless you know their username. With Yellow, any matches you make can be automatically added to your Snapchat contact list, thus being a win win for everyone.

Now online dating is certainly nothing new. In fact most would now see it as far more favourable to meet someone based on interests and likes and lifestyle and spend time getting to know each other online before meeting, as opposed to hanging out in seedy bars and clubs and putting up with drunks and music that no longer has any lyrics.

What we have with apps like Yellow however, is that it is targeted at a young audience between 13-17. Like most apps there is no verification needed. Just an email address, a phone number and a profile pic and you are on your way. The problem with these apps comes back to the content, the messages and the explicit nature of many users and their requests.

When I ask the original question should you let your child on Yellow however, the question is a little bit obsolete. Why? Because most parents don’t know the app exists and for the rest who do, they have little control over what apps their child is visiting. Unless they have systems that tell them exactly what is downloaded on their device, then they also have no way of knowing if they are downloading and deleting the app when devices are checked. Now if your child is 13 you should still have a say in what they are doing online. A 16 or 17 year old however can be a very different story.

So what do we do?

Once again we talk to our teens about these apps and explain some of the ways they are being used and what that could mean for them. For example, we let them know

  • anybody can pretend they are someone they are not. It doesn’t take much to find a photo online and add your name and age to be whoever you like.
  • These places obviously become havens for pedophiles who have a smorgasboard of willing young people trying to impress with sexy poses, pouts and profile pics.
  • Young people are seeing plenty of content that is inappropriate for their ages.
  • Teens as young as 13 (and quite probably younger) are asking for nudes and sending them out.
  • Emoji’s make up a huge component of the ‘conversation’. For example the aubergine refers to mens genitalia, the purple devil is code for “lets sext” and a surprised cat means “I want to see you naked’. So talking about how to respond to these requests may be something your child needs some help with.

Ultimately we want them to know they are worth so much more than their looks alone and they do not need validation from strangers. We want them to experience the joy of dating and starting relationships based on who they are and not their willingness, or not, to send a naked pic.

I do always say that it is not the technology that brings people undone but it is the way people behave with the technology. I am sure some great friendships and relationships have started on Yellow just as I know many have on Tinder. It may also be a very valid way for those isolated from others to meet new people or for those too shy to start talking to someone in real life to gain the courage via the keyboard. But when our children are still young we need to look at the type of content and messages they are being exposed to. The idea of disposable relationships, the language used to describe potential dates and the self esteem issues that can arise all need to be discussed.

This is not the first and will not be the last app of its type. So remember to focus on your child, the skills they need and the real life relationships they can foster to give them a healthy view of who they are and who they need in their world.

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6 Responses to Should you let your teenager on Yellow app: Tinder for the young?

  1. Natalie mcnamara February 4, 2017 at 10:03 am #

    I had no idea about some of the emoji talk… I have heard of this app and it still shocks me that it is available .

    • Martine Oglethorpe February 5, 2017 at 5:00 pm #

      and I’m sure there will be many more that spring up that are very similar. Another reason why we should be prepared to have the right conversations.

  2. Jacqui Harrison February 6, 2017 at 10:43 am #

    Thanks Martine, I’ll be having a conversation with my pre-teens this evening about this app. It’s hard to keep up with all the different apps and sites these days and they’re at such a vulnerable age.

    • Martine Oglethorpe February 16, 2017 at 2:57 pm #

      Thanks Jacqui. Yes it is definitely hard to keep with every site, but it certainly helps to know the sorts of ways kids are connecting so we can have the right conversations.

  3. Blake Wall October 27, 2017 at 3:11 pm #

    It’s not a dating app why do parents keep thinking this app is so bad it is literally just for conversations I’ve already been in so many conversations and none of them had to do with meeting up with each other or about sending nudes back in forth they have just been about learning to have good conversations with people and getting to know people and it actually helps a lot to make teens more social in real life and boost self esteem yes we realize we don’t need the app but guess what it makes us feel better about ourselves y’all are to old to old to understand technology y’all also realize if your daughter or son is willing to send nudes out there are so many other social media cites they could do it over like you could litterlty do it on any one of them easy done pedophofiles can make fake accounts on any of the social media cites this app actually has a picture verification system where it can identify a face and know if it’s already been used before no other app has that so how about you stop bashing the app and realize it’s actually helping teens

    • Martine Oglethorpe October 28, 2017 at 2:48 pm #

      Hi Blake, thanks so much for your comment I really appreciate you taking the time. I am really happy that you have found the site to be beneficial and a great way to make connections with other people. I guess I would like to think of all social media as having that role. You are right in that it is not the site that makes something necessarily dangerous but the behaviours of the people that use them . I have also spoken to many people who are getting requests that are not safe so I guess from a parents point of view we want to be sure kids are using these apps appropriately. Whilst it has been positive place for you we also know that for some it is not so I just like parents to be aware of what is out there so they can have the best conversations with their kids. I have never advocated for total bans of sites etc (within reason) but rather for communication between kids and parents to ensure they are using it well as unfortunately many young people do not have the social, emotional and cognitive development to hang out in places that are essentially an adult world. I certainly take on your point however and appreciate you showing me that it can be used in a positive way.

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