And I wouldn’t want to be obsessive about it, and I wouldn’t want people to think I was bragging either, so I just wouldn’t show anything.” “Sometimes if your parents find out, I mean, my mom lets me have a girlfriend, but some protective parents …

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Among teens with relationship experience: Beyond publicly displaying affection and one’s own relationship, social media is a space where many teens can express public support or approval of others’ romantic relationships: 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.

Girls are especially likely to publicly support their friends’ relationships using social media (71% of girls with dating experience have done so, compared with 57% of boys) although boys and girls are equally likely to publicly express affection for their own partner in social media environments.

Similarly 50% of boys say social media makes them feel more emotionally connected with their significant other, compared with 37% of girls.

At the same time, even among boys this impact is fairly muted: Just 16% say social media makes them feel “a lot” more connected to their significant other’s life, while just 13% feel “a lot” more emotionally close to their significant other thanks to social media.

But a substantial minority feel that their partner acts differently – in positive or negative ways — on social media than he or she does in real life.

Among the 31% of teens who are “teen daters” who use social media: Girls are more likely to “strongly disagree” with the notion that their partner shows a different side of themselves on social media than they do offline: 13% of girls strongly disagree with this statement, compared with just 4% of boys.when I’m in person with him, like, it’s harder for me to tell him what I’m feeling.So like I’ll think about it when we’re together, and then like afterwards I’ll probably text him like what I was feeling and tell him my problems.”“I think texting kind of makes you feel closer because – boys are more shy. my boyfriend, he doesn’t like to express himself like that.At the same time, this self-presentation can sometimes appear inauthentic or phony to others.Teens are especially attuned to this type of social curation: When it comes to teen friendships, fully 85% of teen social media users agree that social media allows people to show a side of themselves that they can’t show online.So it kind of makes [the relationship] stronger.” For some, one other useful feature of multiple digital communication platforms (e.g., texting, messaging apps, Twitter, Instagram) is that those platforms allow teens to manage communicating with multiple people and multiple romantic partners. Teens in our focus group described peering at photos on their partner’s profile to look for suspicious images.