This study reveals that the digital realm is one part of a broader universe in which teens meet, date and break up with romantic partners.
Online spaces are used infrequently for meeting romantic partners, but play a major role in how teens flirt, woo and communicate with potential and current flames. 10 through March 16, 2015; 16 online and in-person focus groups with teens were conducted in April 2014 and November 2014.
Fully 35% of all teen girls have had to block or unfriend someone who was flirting in a way that made them uncomfortable, double the 16% of boys who have taken this step.
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.
Some 27% of teens with relationship experience have broken up with someone via text message, 31% have been broken up with in this way.
Phone calls, which are seen as the second-most acceptable way of breaking up with someone, are just as common as a breakup text; 29% of teens with relationship experience have broken up with someone over the phone, and 27% have been broken up with in this way.
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.
A bit less than half of teens (47%) say they feel this way about social media.
Understanding the role social and digital media play in these romantic relationships is critical, given how deeply enmeshed these technology tools are in lives of American youth and how rapidly these platforms and devices change.But while some of these behaviors are at least relatively common among dating neophytes, others are almost entirely engaged in by teens with prior relationship experience.When it comes to “entry-level” flirting, teens who have never been in a romantic relationship are most comfortable letting someone know that they are interested in them romantically using the following approaches: Not all flirting behavior is appreciated or appropriate.This report examines American teens’ digital romantic practices. The main findings from this research include: Overall, 35% of American teens ages 13 to 17 have ever dated, hooked up with or been otherwise romantically involved with another person, and 18% are currently in a romantic relationship.It covers the results of a national Pew Research Center survey of teens ages 13 to 17; throughout the report, the word “teens” refers to those in that age bracket, unless otherwise specified. Though 57% of teens have begun friendships in a digital space, teens are far less likely to have embarked on a romantic relationship that started online.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.