So it kind of makes [the relationship] stronger.” For some, one other useful feature of multiple digital communication platforms (e.g., texting, messaging apps, Twitter, Instagram) is that those platforms allow teens to manage communicating with multiple people and multiple romantic partners. Teens in our focus group described peering at photos on their partner’s profile to look for suspicious images.One high school boy from our focus groups relates his strategy: “Sometimes, if you [are romantically involved with] a bunch of girls, you can have set time periods – where it’s like you can ignore her for a little bit and talk to her. One high school girl explains her calculus: “It depends on like what they’re doing in the picture.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.
Teens from less well-off households, as well as those who have met a partner online, are especially likely to have done this.
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.