Virtual dating game for teens
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.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.Among all teens: Each of the flirting behaviors measured in the survey is more common among teens with previous dating experience than among those who have never dated before.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.Dating isn’t always a positive experience for youth, in person or digitally.
More than a third (37%) of teens with relationship experience (also called “teen daters” throughout this report) have used social media to let their partner know how much they like them in a way that was visible to other people in their network.
At the same time, teens’ use of social media sites can also lead to feelings of jealousy or uncertainty about the stability of their relationships.
However, even teens who indicate that social media has played a role in their relationship (whether for good or for bad) tend to feel that its role is relatively modest in the grand scheme of things.
One-quarter (25%) of all teens have unfriended or blocked someone on social media because that person was flirting in a way that made them uncomfortable.
Just as adult women are often subject to more frequent and intense harassment online, teen girls are substantially more likely than boys to experience uncomfortable flirting within social media environments.
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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.