A just-published study from the Pew Research Center offers a powerful glimpse into the world of digital dating for teens and how flirting, maintaining relationships and even breaking up are now often experienced online as much as in person. Here’s a look at how the flirt-date-break up cycle has changed.
Online spaces are used infrequently (yes, we said “infrequently”!) for meeting romantic partners, but play a major role in how teens flirt, woo and communicate with potential and current flames.
- 76% of teens say they have only dated people they met via offline methods.
However flirting has largely become a digital experience.
- 50% of teens have let someone know they were interested in them romantically by friending them on Facebook or another social media sight.
How exactly do they flirt?
- 11% have made them a music playlist.
- 10% have sent flirty or sexy pictures or videos of themselves.
- 7% have made a video for them.
Sometimes, however, digital flirting gets uncomfortable.
- 25% of all teens have unfriended or blocked someone on social media because that person was flirting in a way that made them uncomfortable.
- 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.
Breaking up has always been hard to do, but doing it online can get downright ugly.
- 16% of teen daters have been required by a current or former partner to remove former girlfriends or boyfriends from their friends list on Facebook, Twitter or other social media.
- 8% of teen daters report that a current or ex-partner used information posted on the internet against them, to harass or embarrass them.
One of teens’ biggest complaints about dating in a digital world? It’s too public!
- 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.