Teens are often connected to the internet for various parts of their lives. They use it for everything from schoolwork to meeting new people. This includes connecting to the web to find romantic partners. Exploring their dating habits give you a closer look at what they are doing on the internet. You can also use this information to help teach teens about how to stay safe when communicating with people on the internet.
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Teens Are No Stranger to Meeting an Online Date in Person
An estimated 25% of teens have met someone from online in person. Some of them use teen online dating sites and others meet people via social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
It is important that teens do not rush to meet an online friend in person. They should make sure that they know who they are to prevent issues with catfishing or predators.
It is best to use an online site that does something to vet its members to make sure that they are who they claim to be. This can help to decrease the chances of meeting someone who is an adult or otherwise does not have the right intentions regarding meeting teens online.
About Half of Teens Use Social Media to Show Romantic Interest
When teens are interested in someone, they are not likely to tell them in person. Whether they met them online or not, about 50% of teens will use digital means to express romantic interest.
Some research shows that teens will use social media to share their like of another teen. They may do this via likes or similar features, or by sending messages or comments to the teen that they are interested in.
Teens feel that should they be rejected, it is easier to handle when it happens online rather than when it occurs when they are talking to someone in person. They can essentially go about their day without having to deal with the disappointment after they logout of their social media account.
Another benefit to relaying this message online is that teens can work on it. You can easily delete a message or edit one before sending it. This allows them to basically perfect what they want to say to someone they like. In person, once you say something, you cannot take it back, so using social media may actually make things less awkward.
Social Media is a Common Place to Express Attraction
Social media is where about 47% of teens go to show that they are attracted to another teen. If they are not yet ready to tell them outright about their feelings, they may do things, such as like their posts to let them know that they are noticing them.
Teens say that how often a person likes their photos and posts gives them a hint about how they feel about them. For example, if someone starts interacting this way all of a sudden, it is common for a teen to view it as a way to express interest.
Teens may go out of their way to interact on social media with someone they like. They might go back through older photos and posts and either like them or comment on them to express attraction. In some cases, teens may even tag someone they like on posts they believe the other person will find interesting.
This is a way for teens to let someone know that they are attracted to them without the fear of rejection. For example, since they are not blatantly telling the person that they like them, the other person is not likely to tell them that they are not interested.
The Top Two Ways Teens Talk is Via Their Cellphones
When two teens are interested in each other, they use two primary forms of communication, both of which are available via their cellphone. These include actually talking on the phone or sending text messages to one another.
It is not uncommon for teens to spend several hours each day on their phones to communicate with someone they like. This allows them to communicate easily even if they do not live close to each other.
When they are using their phones, they can even do things like share photos and videos with one another when they are text messaging. This helps them to get to know each other better and to keep communication going in between the times when they are able to get together and hang out in person.
Most Teens Prefer Texting with Their Significant Other Every Day
When teens are in a relationship, about 72% of them say that they talk daily using text messaging. Only about 39% say that they talk on the phone with their significant other each day.
It can be a lot easier to send text messages, especially when teens are busy. Things like after school jobs, extracurricular activities and family responsibilities can make it hard for today’s teens to have time to have a conversation on the phone each day.
Daily communication is common between teens tend to view life by the day. If they go a full day without talking to their significant other, this could lead to issues of insecurity, especially related to their relationship.
Many teens will spend several hours messaging with their significant other. This includes the times that they are in school, even if both of them attend the same school.
Teens Expect Daily Check-Ins from Their Significant Other
When two teens are seeing each other, they want to be around them as much as possible. Since their time together is often limited to weekends or the classes that they share, they are left to using texts and phone calls to keep up with each other’s lives the rest of the time.
An estimated 85% of teens say that they expect that the person they are dating contacts them at least once daily. Only about 11% say that they feel that their significant other should be checking in on an hourly basis.
Some believe that teens spend too much time talking to one another, especially in the early stages. There are teens that will ignore their other friendships to talk to a person that they are dating instead. This can lead to issues, especially if the relationship ends and the teens need their friends for support to get them through a heartbreak.
It is important that teens find a balance when it comes to communicating with their significant other. Once a day communication is fine as long as they are keeping up with their friends and responsibilities too.
Social Media Can Cause Jealousy for Some Teens in a Relationship
Jealousy is something that everyone can experience, especially when they are in a relationship. Seeing your significant other with someone else can certainly result in this emotion. Since social media makes it easy for people to interact with dozens of others, it is not surprising that about 27% of teens said that social media has made them feel either unsure or jealous of the relationship that they are in.
It is important to remember that things are not always what they seem on social media. Anyone can edit photos, or an innocent conversation may seem different when you do not have the proper context. Because of this, teens need to use caution and not jump to any conclusions. If you are concerned about an interaction on social media, it is best to talk to your significant other about it before getting jealous or angry.
Some Teens Track Their Significant Other Using Social Media
On many social media platforms, you can check in to let people know where you are. This gives you a chance to meet up with friends easily or simply document the different places that you visit.
About 27% of teens state that they have used these platforms to see where their significant other is and the places that they tend to hang out. For example, if they are suspicious about their partner’s honesty, they can head to social media to see if they are being honest about their whereabouts at a specific time.
In most cases, you can also look back and see where a person visited previously. Some sites allow you to go back several years, to see a where has been, allowing teens to determine the honesty of their significant other at almost any point in time if they used a social media check-in feature.
Text Messages Serve as a Way to Get Dumped by a Significant Other
Some teens do not like confrontation, so they use social media to break up with someone that they no longer want to date. Approximately 31% of teens say that they have been dumped via text message.
While letting someone know that you no longer want to date them is always the best option and far better than ghosting, a text message is not always an ideal route of delivery. It is better if you talk to them in person so that the two of you can talk through any differences that might have led to the breakup.
Should someone insist on using a text message to end a relationship, it is important that they provide an explanation as to why they are ending the relationship. Both parties need to get some closure so that they can have a clean break. When people do not get closure following a breakup, it can cause issues with their self-esteem and make it harder for them to trust a new person once they find someone else who might want to start a relationship with them.
Deleting Someone on Social Media is a Way to Close a Relationship
When two teens breakup, they often remove their former significant other from all parts of their social media profiles. About 43% of teens will either delete photos that contain their former partner or at least untag the person from these photos. They do this as a way to not have to further interact with them on social media platforms.
Approximately 42% of teens will completely block a former significant other or at least unfriend them on social media. This can help to stop them from reaching out in the future or seeing their former love interest get involved with a new person. Teens view this as a way to help them move on from the relationship so that they are able to start fresh once they meet someone else that they like.
Teens Use Social Media as a Way to Gain Support After a Breakup
Social media is more than just a way to interact with love interests. It is also a place to keep up with friends and get support when things in your life are not going as planned. An estimated 63% of teens will use social media to get some love and support from friends and family when they break up with someone.
This is a good thing because having support means that you are able to vent and work through your emotions regarding the breakup. All teens should have at least one person that they can communicate with to aid them in mending their broken heart and feeling happy.
Teens should make sure that they are friends on social media with their friends in real life. Having trusted family members as social media friends can also be beneficial during tough times.
Teen Dating Violence is a Concern
It is estimated that 14% of teen boys and 23% of teen girls have experience partner violence. When you are meeting someone online, it is important to make sure that they are not catfishing and that they are genuine. Once you meet them in person, if anything seems off, teens should immediately end the date and call a trusted adult to come and get them.
Always meet in a public place and avoid being alone with anyone until you get to know them well. Those with good intentions will be fine with public dates for a while.
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