After a (college-age) dating blogger for Seventeen posted a column about the pros and cons of online dating, the magazine's website has come under fire for promoting online hookups to girls who are ostensibly too young to join most of the major dating sites out there — Match.com's 18-and-up requirement goes unmentioned in the column, which uses Match as an example of online dating success stories.
The article quotes Nicole Clark, former model and creator of documentary Cover Girl Culture, who says that kids should be able to meet significant others through school and sports: "Seventeen magazine is giving cyber-stalkers a gift wrapped dream present: tweens and teens who are seeking love online from someone online." But a relationship therapist says that online friends can help shy kids break out of their shells.
Seventeen targets girls aged 12 to 19, and based on personal experience I'd guess that the average reader's age is around 14. It's not the first time that the magazine has made online dating the subject of discussion, and safety precautions have been included; a December 2012 post advices teens to "be cautious" and avoid giving out personal information when dealing with potential online friends. (Not to mention the timepeg of the article is the MTV show Catfish — if any show can be a cautionary tale for online dating, it's that.)
Another advice column tells a teen girl to break up with her online boyfriend. The column in question, meanwhile, is written more from a first-person perpective: (the age-appropriate) Furth sharing her thoughts on dating online.
Another thing to consider: The only extensive piece criticizing Seventeen for the dating column is on the Fox News website, which in March featured another article called "Seventeen Pushing Sex as Drug To 12-Year-Olds" for featuring Spring Breakers' Ashley Benson on the cover. So take that as you will.
'Seventeen Magazine slammed for article promoting online dating to young readers' [Fox News]
Image via Seventeen