Seventeen: Minors on Grindr

21 06 2013

Would it be my responsibility to inform a minor who is using an app intended for adults, such as Grindr, that he shouldn’t be using it? I feel like those who are underage wouldn’t listen to me anyway, that’d I’d simply be some parent-like buzzkill on their ride to sexual exploration, which, as it turns out, I am.

I started talking with this guy who said he was 18 (which is still legally underage in BC) who I thought was cute. After exchanging numbers, I asked him if he was in high school, and he told me he was going into Grade 12. After doing some quick calculation, I asked he was 17, and he laughed and replied that he was.

Okay, so I didn’t want to get all lecture-y on him because no one wants to hear me lecture about how they should do what I tell them, but I feel like this was a different case. So I told him as patiently and concisely as I could about why it’s not a good idea to be a minor and on Grindr. When he said that he knew and that it wasn’t a big deal because he doesn’t use it very often, I felt like my message wasn’t getting across. I could’ve let it go, and maybe I should have. But instead, I went into more detail, about how it’s part of Grindr’s agreement terms that you have to be over 18/the age of majority to download and use the app; I suggested that if he wanted to meet other gay people, that there are social networking sites for youth that he could join instead, and that even in Edmonton, where he lives, there’s bound to be resources for gay/queer youth. I then asked if he could delete Grindr from his phone.

All this was met with silence. I don’t know if he fell asleep or decided to ignore the insane preacher from Vancouver. I think I did the right thing, and yet, I don’t know if it worked or not. I suppose that’s not my call and that I did the best I could, but I don’t feel satisfied.

Sigh. Kids these days.