Internet dating is a waste of time

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In our focus groups, teens discussed some of the potential negative effects of documenting their romantic relationships on social media, which ranged from increased drama to a general loss of privacy.

A lot of people kind of don’t like it on social media because it doesn’t need to be on there.

Cause as long as the two [people] know how they feel about each other.

I feel like if you have it on social media, it’s like more drama.

But even as text messaging and social media play a pronounced role in all other aspects of teen life, teens feel strongly that an in-person conversation -- or at worst, a phone call -- is the most socially acceptable way to break up with someone.

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.

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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.Some 35% of teens have some type of experience in a romantic relationship, a figure that includes current and former daters, as well as those in serious and less-serious relationships. Teens also spoke about social media as an information-gathering tool that helps them find out all sorts of information about a potential partner, like whether they are dating someone or not.Among teens with dating experience, 76% say they have never dated someone they first met online, but one-in-four (24%) have dated or hooked up with someone they initially encountered online. Many teens in our focus groups described flirting with a crush by liking their photos or posting a comment on their social media profile.Because like more people ask questions and stuff like that.Digital communication plays a role in all aspects of teen romantic relationships, including when those relationships end.

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