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If both teens swipe right, then they’re connected within the app, where they can privately chat.Unlike Tinder, Spotafriend claims to be an app for making friends rather than finding dates.We’re happy to see that Tinder is drawing this line, and we believe it will make younger users much safer,” says Spotafriend’s creator, Benoit Tessier.Much like Tinder, Spotafriend allows teens to view pictures of others near them, and swipe left or right if the person is someone they would like to know better.At least that’s what teens said in a recent story about online romance in the student newspaper at my daughters’ suburban Maryland high school.According to that story, “students initiate relationships online to meet new people, avoid stressful in-person meetings and hide their dating lives from their parents.” That’s certainly the case for some kids, according to my 17-year-old.

Some of the girls quoted in the high school newspaper story said they got fed up with using Tinder when boys immediately requested that they send nude photos.

Today’s teens are flirting in an entirely different landscape.

Sure, they are still flirting in hallways and movie theaters but they are also flirting over text message, social media, and apps specifically designed for flirting and dating.

One couple she knows chatted constantly on Facebook for more than two months—even though they saw each other every day at school—before the boy got up the nerve to ask out the girl.

Connecting online is appealing, kids say, because it’s easier to present yourself in a different light than if you were meeting someone in person.

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