“The Tinder Swindler,” the latest Netflix binge that everyone is talking about, follows three women who all went on the popular dating app, Tinder and matched with “Simon Leviev”.
Simon appeared to be the man of their dreams but ended up being a nightmare. He spun a web of scammer lies until each woman believed she was his one and only. They each, individually, handed over their hard-earned cash and continued to do so until he was exposed, and their respective wells run dry.
Why is this relevant to our tweens and teens?
Scams and predators are huge part of what hits them daily on various social media platforms. Add to that dating apps targeting younger and younger audiences (Hoop is the current Tinder equivalent for teens and tweens – download our free eBook on Hoop here: https://klikd.co.za/resource-center/ ), our tweens need to be equipped to handle illusion, false promises and glasses that are EMPTY, let alone half full!
Whether your kids are old enough to watch the documentary or not, it’s a great opportunity for some important conversations around AFFIRMATION, and what underlies the need of all of us (adults included) to hear “you are special to me”.
Conversation starters for teens:
- It is easy to say the women in documentary were just ‘stupid’ for falling for Simon’s requests for money – do you agree that it was stupidity or was something else driving their wish to be in a relationship with him?
- Do you think men get scammed by women who offer a lavish lifestyle, status and a relationship, as easily as women do?
- Are single women viewed differently to single men in society and do you think that makes them more vulnerable to doing anything to stay in a relationship?
- What do you think the moment of ‘exit’ should have been for these woman – when should they have said “I’m out”.?
- What do you think the appropriate punishment should have been for Simon Leviev (Although he was sentenced to 15 months, he spent 5 months in jail and is back on dating apps, living the life.
- We all have a soft spot – people get scammed on OnlyFans all the time with pleas for cash after their car broke, or they were kicked out the house etc. What is your soft spot?
- Predators hang out on gaming sites, on Insta, even on Snap Chat– they use affirmation to make you feel good and before you know, you are hooked in. Do you know people who have been scammed this way?
- Do you think there is something that would make you more likely to chat to someone you don’t know – maybe a modelling contract offer, maybe a chance to participate in a gaming competition?
Conversation starters for tweens/ younger kids:
- When someone you know gives you a ‘like’ on Insta or tells you are good at gaming, how does that feel?
- How does it feel when a stranger notices you for your gaming/makeup/sporting talents online?
- Have you got a friend who always gets a lot of likes on Insta? What is that like for you to watch?
- Do you think you know someone who would do anything to get more likes, even say send a pic to someone they shouldn’t?
- What is the most likes you have ever got? what is the number you would like to get? Do you think that would feel like enough or do you think it would make you want more after that?
- Have you ever posted something just in the hope of being noticed by someone you didn’t really know well – maybe a new guy at school, or a cute girl you met at a party?
- Do you think adults stop wanting to be noticed for being good at something?
How can you prepare your kids for the scams that will undoubtedly come their way in the online world?
The Klikd App contains an entire module called My Sweet Spot or My Weak Spot which gets teens and tweens to think critically about what their own online vulnerabilities are. For some of us it’s affirmation, for some it means getting a lot of likes. There is also another module on cams and phishing teaching our kids what to look out for when things online seem too good to be true.
Upskilling our teens with Cyber EQ through the Klikd App, allows them to use tech safely, successfully and happily, so that you, the parents can breathe one big sigh of relief.
Check it out here: https://klikd.co.za/the-app/
Sarah and Pam