Teen Relationships: Dating in the Virtual World

From sending friend requests on Facebook to a goodbye message on WhatsApp, technology has definitely changed the way teens start, maintain, publicize, and end their romantic relationships. Recently, Pew Research Center conducted a series of focus groups to find out the impact of digital technology on the dating life of teens. The results are quite amazing, so we thought of sharing them with you. Enjoy reading!

Finding and Communicating with Potential Partners

According to the report, there are two types of teens. The first type does not consider the Internet a safer medium for finding a romantic partner due to the chances of misrepresentation. On the other hand, some teens consider it okay to start a romantic relationship with anyone they meet online. In the report, Pew research center revealed that 50 percent of the teens who took part in the focus groups sent friendship requests to their potential partners as a way of showing their interest. On the other hand, 47 percent teens showed their liking by leaving comments or exchanging messages on social media. As per the report, teens prefer using text messages or calls for staying in touch with their dating partners.

Revealing Relationship Status to the Public

What’s interesting is that teens frequently use social media platforms to tell the world they are off the market by changing their relationship status from “single” to “in a relationship”, but this is not all. They add their partners as friends on all social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and actively leave comments, reactions, and tweets for each other to let the world know that they are close.

Ending a Romantic Relationship

Most of us underestimate teens, but they sure know how to end a relationship in the best way possible. The results of the focus groups conducted across the U.S. also prove this fact. Most of the teens who participated in the program agreed that the best way to end a relationship is meeting the partner in-person. However, 27 percent of them confessed that they ended the relationship over a phone call or text message.

Post-Breakup Digital Behavior

Teens show a huge range of behaviors after a break-up and their behavior fully depends on the nature and strength of the relationship and the way it ended. Some teens remove all the digital traces of their former romantic partner, while others keep some doors open. What’s interesting is that 63 percent of dating teens said that social media helped them in coping with post-breakup depression.

It is good that our younger generation is using technology to its best, but this excessive dependency on or addiction to various online platforms can be dangerous as the Internet is not exactly safe. Parents must take steps to monitor the social media activities of kids in order to make sure the latter do not end up in a wrong relationship or behave irresponsibly when being in ‘love’.

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