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One high school boy explained why someone might not want to post any details about their relationship on social media: “I don’t know. Then, you know, if you were to post it online and then you break up, you probably wouldn’t want to change it and then everyone asks you what happened, so you might not put it there in the first place. It’s like a permanent tattoo.” “A lot of people kind of don’t like it on social media because it doesn’t need to be on there.Just let it be the people you actually know who knows. ‘Cause as long as the two know how they feel about each other, I feel like if you have it on social media, it’s like more drama.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.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.Teens in our focus group explained the way digital communication platforms – social media as well as texting – can enhance and expand on in-person meetings.
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.
Many teens in relationships view social media as a place where they can feel more connected with the daily contours of their significant other’s life, share emotional connections and let their significant other know they care – although these sites can also lead to feelings of jealousy or uncertainty about the stability of one’s relationship.
At the same time, even teens who indicate that social media has had an impact on their relationship (whether for good or for bad) tend to feel that its impact is relatively modest in the grand scheme of things.
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.
At the same time, this self-presentation can sometimes appear inauthentic or phony to others.