Is TikTok a literal dating app? Nope. But have some people made it into one? Absolutely. Welcome to the newest form of sliding into someone’s DMs: TikTok dating. If your teen hasn’t already made a TikTok with the hashtag #datemeplz they’ve probably at least seen a ton of them by now. If you’re worried about this trend, don’t panic. We’re going to cover all of the details here so you know exactly what the TikTok dating trend entails.
How do TikTokers find “love” on the app?
The TikTok dating trend started last year and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down any time soon. Here’s how it works: users flirt through comments and DMs on TikTok, then they might switch over to another platform (like Snapchat) to talk further, and then make their grand entrance back on TikTok as a new couple. Many have even created mini dating “profiles” by posting TikToks detailing why someone should date him/her (more on that soon). This, of course, prompts users to comment or DM with their interest in the OG TikToker.
Why have teens gravitated toward the trend?
Why would a teen want to find their special someone on TikTok, you may ask? Probably for a lot of reasons, but the biggest of which is simply the dissatisfaction in singleness and pressure to date because all of their peers are already dating.
It can feel really lonely to be single as a teenager in 2020. Teens can’t actually escape the feelings of loneliness they harbor because they’re constantly being bombarded by perfectly adorable couples on their social media feeds. People post TikToks of themselves dancing with their significant other, showing off their Valentine’s Day gifts, bragging about elaborate promposals, etc. All of this puts a lot of pressure on single teens to get cuffed ASAP.
An explosion of hopeful soulmate-searchers
There are millions of views on popular hashtags dedicated to this search for love. If you search “date me” you’ll find the highest trending hashtags include #someonedateme (26.5M views), #datemeplz (5.6M views), #wouldyoudateme (3.7M views), and #plsdateme (3.5M views).
The idea is that one could post a cute, short video sharing a little about themselves, then sit and wait for someone to comment back, follow, or send a DM. Here are just a few of the users who used the hashtags.
Not everyone is totally on board, though. By searching “dating app,” we can see that many TikTokers are skeptical about the new trend. The hashtag #istiktokadatingapp comes up at 3.4M views, and #notadatingapp and #tiktokisnotdatingapp have a good 270.7K views and 139.8K views, respectively.
Here’s what they’ve got to say on the matter.
Should I be worried?
Most of this is rather innocent, but we should always take precaution as parents to educate our kids on the possibilities of receiving unwanted DMs from random people. As Mashable states, this #datemeplz trend leaves young people, particularly young women, vulnerable to receiving messages from older men. The possibility of receiving unwanted DMs from older people, even predators, is always within question when it comes to the internet, but openly inviting others to reach out with their interest in dating you obviously leaves a wider chasm for inappropriate behavior to occur.
The bottom line
If your kid has already posted a video that falls within the “date me” category, don’t panic! This does not mean they’re automatically going to be met with hundreds of creepy messages. It just means that it would be a good idea to monitor interactions with random people DMing them, if it happens at all.
Ask your teen their thoughts on the trend.
- Do you think it’s a good trend?
- Do you think people are being serious when they post TikToks asking people to date them? Or does it seem like it’s more of a joke?
- Do you view TikTok as a dating app? Why or why not?
- Do you think there are any potential risks in posting a “date me” TikTok?
- How can you keep yourself safe from random people DMing you?
- Where would you draw the line?
If you’re still unsure of where to start the conversation with your teen, we encourage you to dive into one or more of these resources.