Seventeen Magazine In Hot Water For Recommending Online Dating

Seventeen Magazine’s online dating advice may address the concerns of teen girls, but not everyone is down with their stance on finding love on the world wide web.

For decades, Seventeen Magazine has been a big name in teen girl guidance — and in the 80s and 90s, the mag was known in part for some candid content about love, sex, and dating in its advice columns.

Now in 2013, Seventeen has addressed some new and sticky questions about online dating, opening the title up for critique from worried parents whose daughters may heed the advice and head online for love — possibly encountering dangerous predators in the process.

Let’s face it — even without Seventeen Magazine’s blessing, girls are probably meeting boys online and probably have been since the first modem knocked the first home phone line into eternal busy signal land. But still, parents worry about internet predators tricking and deceiving young women into a situation that may not be what it appears.

Fox reports that an article in the mag paints a rosy pic of online dating, with blogger Isabelle Furth writing:

“Let’s face it: we’re all techoholics! Even though we do basically everything online, I always thought of online dating as something older people do… I was talking to a new friend and she was telling me all about her boyfriend. I admit it, I was a little jealous. He sounded so great and she was so happy in her relationship. When I asked her how they met, she told me she had signed up for and had met him online right away. Now six months later, they’re engaged!”

One critic is teen culture expert Nicole Clark, who counters:

“[Seventeen] should indicate the dangers of online dating due to their young readership. Cyber-stalkers are a serious danger to children and teens and anytime you encourage online communities for kids you have to be educated on cyber stalkers… Seventeen magazine is giving cyber-stalkers a gift wrapped dream present: tweens and teens who are seeking love online from someone online.”

Do you think Seventeen Magazine should put more of an emphasis on online dating safety, or do most teens already know to take certain precautions when meeting potential dates on social media or dating sites?