Virtual dating for teens
Teens also use social media to express public support or approval of others’ romantic relationships.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of teens with dating experience have posted or liked something on social media as a way to indicate their support of one of their friends’ relationships.
Among teen social media users with relationship experience (30% of the overall population of those ages 13 to 17): For some teens, social media is a space where they can display their relationship to others by publicly expressing their affection on the platform.
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.
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.
When it comes to “entry-level” flirting, teens who have never been in a romantic relationship are most comfortable letting someone know that they are interested in them romantically using the following approaches: Not all flirting behavior is appreciated or appropriate.
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.
One-quarter (24%) of teen “daters” or roughly 8% of all teens have dated or hooked up with someone they first met online.
Fully 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.
Many teens in relationships view social media as a place where they can feel more connected with the daily events in their significant other’s life, share emotional connections, and let their significant other know they care.
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.