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From heart emojis on Instagram to saying goodbye to a relationship with a text message, digital technology plays an important role in how teens seek out, maintain and end relationships. And we talked for about a week, and then I decided he actually seems kind of chill. And then I took it slow, like cause meeting someone over the internet isn’t always the best idea.In a series of focus groups conducted by the Pew Research Center online and in cities across the U. So if you’re going to do it, like do it very carefully.Many teens are online throughout the day on multiple platforms where their communications are visible to others, and dodging or screening communications from one’s significant other in this environment is fraught with challenges. But if you’re kind of like, oh, it’s kind of a like a waste of time, then you won’t do that.Teens in our focus groups described how a delay by their significant other in responding to a text message or phone call can make them feel ignored or unimportant, especially when they can see on social media that their partner is online: So recently, actually, like two days ago, my girlfriend actually got her phone taken away by her mom. So like a day or two passed by, I'm like wondering if I should text her. Check to see if she's looked at my Snap or whatever. But publicly sharing the details of one’s romantic life online is not without potential pitfalls, and many teens elect to not document their relationships in this way.S., over 100 teens shared with us their personal experiences with social media and romantic relationships. During the focus groups, technology – and especially social media – often was described as an integral part of the courting process for teens.These are some of the key themes and responses we heard during these data-gathering sessions. And I met a girl on there and she lived up in [location]. Half of all teens (50%) have let someone know they were interested in them romantically by friending them on Facebook or another social media site, and 47% have expressed their attraction by liking, commenting or otherwise interacting with that person on social media.But even though breaking up via text message is largely frowned upon, 27% of teens with dating experience admit to breaking up with someone by text.In our focus groups, we heard from teens who have broken up with someone via text.
Teens in our focus groups generally agreed that breaking up with a partner over text messaging or social media illustrates a lack of maturity on the part of the person who is ending the relationship.Others mentioned how text-based communication can help them overcome the shyness they sometimes experience in person or give them time to come up with the perfect response during conversation. You know, so that kind of made me mad, but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to act clingy or whatever. Teens also described other negative aspects of technology in romantic relationships, such as surveillance that leads to jealousy, as well as arguments between partners that play out publicly on social media for all to see.I think texting kind of makes you feel closer because boys are more shy. But when we text, it seems like it’s so much easier for him to talk to me. About a quarter – 27% – of teens with dating experience have had a partner use social media to track their whereabouts, and 27% of teens with dating experience say social media makes them feel jealous or unsure of their relationship.A lot of people, if one person cheats or something or does something really terrible, then they both ... When relationships end, teens must decide how to cope with continuing exposure to their former partner on social media and other platforms.Sometimes this exposure involves old photos and other reminders of the past, and 43% of teen daters have untagged or deleted photos of themselves and a past partner on social media. Teens in our focus groups were somewhat divided on how best to deal with social media in the aftermath of a breakup.