In recent years, sea cruises have become a popular pastime among Finnish high-schoolers. Since most of them are still underage, shipping companies require a certain number of adult supervisors to be present on board. Since taking along Mum and Dad is hardly an option, many have resorted to adult dating apps to solve this problem, Finnish national broadcaster Yle reported.
According to Yle, Tinder has been the go-to place for minors seeking adult supervisors for several years. This led to an influx of underage users pretending to be over 18, the minimum required age to use the app.
"I have never used Tinder for dating. I've had a profile for fun, just to see how it works and to have something to play with. But there are many below 18 who use it exclusively for dating", 16-year-old 'Maja' (pseudonym) told Yle. She described it as 'quite normal' for her age.
She herself is perfectly transparent about her wishes: a man over 25 who will 'supervise' her cruise, nothing else. The sex of the supervisor is therefore of no significance, but men are easier to make a deal with. However, she also confirmed that alcohol may be involved.
"As a girl, I have primarily sought men, because it's easier. If it doesn't work, though, I'm sure I'll be looking for women too", 'Maja' admitted. "You don't want to have parents along", she explained.
By her own admission, Tinder is by far the most effective and convenient option. She explained it only took ten minutes for her to find a passing solution. Overall, she described her experience as positive and her would-be partners as 'polite'. "I haven't received any sexual comments", she claimed.
The problem of minors resorting to adult dating apps was first observed a couple of years ago. Marika Nöjd, communications manager at shipping company Tallink Silja, admitted that the problem is known and that it still exists, despite existing routines.
"We know this is happening. Therefore, we currently require the supervisor to have a connection with the group, such as a coach, family member or teacher", Nöjd explained to Yle. The connection is investigated closer by means of telephone interviews.
Other popular cruise operators, such as Viking Line or Eckerö Line have similar requirements in place.