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Many teens in relationships view social media as a place where they can feel more connected with the daily events in their significant other’s life, share emotional connections, and let their significant other know they care.
At the same time, teens’ use of social media sites can also lead to feelings of jealousy or uncertainty about the stability of their relationships.
One-quarter (24%) of teen “daters” or roughly 8% of all teens have dated or hooked up with someone they first met online.
Of those who have met a partner online, the majority met on social media sites, and the bulk of them met on Facebook.
More than a third (37%) of teens with relationship experience (also called “teen daters” throughout this report) have used social media to let their partner know how much they like them in a way that was visible to other people in their network.
As noted above, teen daters say social media makes them feel like they have a place to show how much they care about their boyfriend, girlfriend or significant other.
While most teen romantic relationships do not start online, technology is a major vehicle for flirting and expressing interest in a potential partner.
Along with in-person flirting, teens often use social media to like, comment, “friend” or joke around with someone on whom they have a crush.
And breakups through social media (which, like texts, are also viewed as having low levels of acceptability) are also relatively common – 18% of teens with dating experience have experienced or initiated a breakup by sending a private social media message, changing their relationship status on Facebook or posting a status update.Most teens in romantic relationships assume that they and their partner will check in with each other with great regularity throughout the day.When it comes to spending time with a significant other, teens say texting is the top method, but phone calling and in-person time mix with other digital means for staying in touch.But even as they use social media to show affection, display their relationships and support their friends’ relationships, many teen daters also express annoyance at the public nature of their own romantic partnerships on social media.Some 69% of teen social media users with dating experience agree that too many people can see what’s happening in their relationship on social media; 16% of this group “strongly” agrees.
Text messaging – which is widely viewed as one of the least acceptable ways of breaking up with someone – is more common in the context of actual relationships than its perceived acceptability might indicate.