For teens who meet romantic partners online, it is common for those relationships to never actually progress to the point of a physical meeting. Given the number of years today’s teens have been using social media and the volume of content posted to social media profiles, potential suitors have access to a motherlode of material on their crush.
A high school girl described meeting a boyfriend online: “For me personally, it was from Facebook and it was a friend of a friend. And then we started Skyping, and after that we just kind of started a relationship.”“I’ve met a person over Instagram, actually. But it didn’t last that long.”“I was dating this girl that I met through a social website that probably hardly anybody knows about. A high school girl explained: “It looks a little more creepy.
And then like we just like really liked each other. And, I mean, you…it’s not like you just kind of comment on their picture like, hey, here’s my number. I’d be kind of creeped out if someone mentioned my photos from a long time ago, especially because those photos tend to be very embarrassing.
I told her she should just, like, leave it, but she doesn’t want to, I guess.” Teens deploy social media and the web of connections they create to help them connect with and learn more about potential romantic prospects.
They’re old, and I’m like, why did I post a photo of me?
” Flirting and otherwise letting someone know you are interested in them is typically the first step to building a romantic relationship, and teens approach this in numerous ways across a range of online and offline venues.
Social media interactions, along with in-person flirting, are among the most common ways for teens to express romantic interest in someone.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 (this represents 65% of teens who use social media), while 47% (representing 62% of social media users) have expressed their attraction by liking, commenting or otherwise interacting with that person on social media.And just over half of teens (55%) flirt or talk to someone in person to let them know they are interested.A majority of teens with dating experience (76%, or 26% of all teens) say they have only dated people they met via in-person methods. One-in-five (20%) of all teens have used their social networks to find new partners by following or friending someone because a friend suggested they might want to date them.Still, a quarter of teen daters (24%, or 8% of all teens) have dated or hooked up with someone they first met online. Older teens are more likely to do this than younger ones; 23% of 15- to 17-year-olds have followed someone at a friend’s behest for dating purposes, while 15% of 13- and 14-year-olds have done so.Half of this group (representing 12% of all teens with dating experience, or 4% of all American teens) have met just one romantic partner online, while the other half have met more than one partner online. And so she told him that it was the wrong address because he asked her. Boys and girls are equally likely to friend a potential partner on another friend’s recommendation.