This report examines American teens’ digital romantic practices. The main findings from this research include: Overall, 35% of American teens ages 13 to 17 have ever dated, hooked up with or been otherwise romantically involved with another person, and 18% are currently in a romantic relationship.
It covers the results of a national Pew Research Center survey of teens ages 13 to 17; throughout the report, the word “teens” refers to those in that age bracket, unless otherwise specified. Though 57% of teens have begun friendships in a digital space, teens are far less likely to have embarked on a romantic relationship that started online.
This study reveals that the digital realm is one part of a broader universe in which teens meet, date and break up with romantic partners.
Online spaces are used infrequently for meeting romantic partners, but play a major role in how teens flirt, woo and communicate with potential and current flames. 10 through March 16, 2015; 16 online and in-person focus groups with teens were conducted in April 2014 and November 2014.
The survey also found that among teen daters who have met a romantic partner online, Facebook is cited more often than other sites as the primary source for online romantic connections. And I met a girl on there and she lived up in [town]. She just had a lot of problems with him and she…they talk all the time, but it just … And the searching doesn’t end when the relationship is over; 13% of teens (or 38% of teens with dating experience) have ever searched for information online about someone they dated or hooked up with in the past.
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