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Some 37% of teens with dating experience have used social media to tell their significant other how much they like them in a way that is visible to other people.Teens from less well-off households, as well as those who have met a partner online, are especially likely to have done this.Because like more people ask questions and stuff like that.” And some teens don’t post much about the relationship on social media because they’re not sure of the relationship status or they don’t want to seem like they’re bragging about their good fortune.A high school girl explained: “Maybe they’re just not sure about it, too. I wouldn’t really know if we were in a relationship yet, so I wouldn’t say anything about it.Teens in our focus group explained specific ways in which a relationship might be displayed on social media. You need to have the padlock emoji with a heart and two people holding hands. Focus group teens also noted that posting publicly about a relationship – noting the date you started the relationship in your bio, declaring your affection, posting photos – sometimes had to do with gaining a sense of status, expressing possessiveness or getting attention from peers: High school boy 1: But even as they use social media to support their friends’ relationships, many teen daters express annoyance at the public nature of their own romantic partnerships on social media.As a high school boy related, people in relationships change “You’ve got to put the date in the bio and her in the bio. Fully 69% of teen social media users with dating experience agree that too many people can see what’s happening in their relationship on social media, with 16% indicating that they “strongly” agree.Among teen social media users with relationship experience: Boys are a bit more likely than girls to view social media as a space for emotional and logistical connection with their significant other.
Teens tend to experience each of these behaviors to a lesser extent in the context of their romantic relationships than they do in their broader friend networks.
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.
Just 31% of such teens disagree with this statement, and only a small percentage (2%) disagree “strongly.” Boys and girls, older and younger teens, and those from higher- and lower-income households are equally likely to agree with this statement.
Teens in our focus groups explained their concerns about people being overly involved, especially in breakups, and their discomfort with the permanence of posted content.
In addition, teens from less well-off households (those earning less than $50,000 per year) engage in each of these behaviors at higher rates, compared with those from higher-income households.