Of those who have met a partner online, the majority met on social media sites, and the bulk of them met on Facebook.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.
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.
Adolescence is a time of incredibly physical, social and emotional growth, and peer relationships – especially romantic ones – are a major social focus for many youth.
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.
Girls are especially likely to support friends’ relationships on social media: 71% of girls with dating experience have done so, compared with 57% of boys.
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.In this study, we asked teen daters about a number of things they might have done online or with a phone to someone they were dating or used to date.These behaviors fall on a spectrum of seriousness, from potentially innocuous to troubling.While most teens rate an in-person talk as the most acceptable way to break up with someone, some 62% of teens with relationship experience have broken up with someone in person, and 47% have been broken up with through an in-person discussion.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.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.