Teen love has always hyperbolic, swoony, and, once you get a little/distance and perspective, completely hilarious (come now, if you can’t laugh at how insanely you acted when you were a sophomore with thebiggestcrushever, what can you laugh at?)
That said, technology has definitely changed up the teen love game. Recently, the Pew Research Center polled a group of teens re: where romance intersects with tech in their lives, and the findings were most interesting.
Teens today report that they’re still more likely to ask someone on a date in person than via text, because romance, apparently, is not dead. However, gender biases in dating are also not dead. Girls are much less likely to make the first move than boys. 47% of girls say they wait for a potential love interest to ask them out, compared to only 6% of boys.
When it comes to social media 65% of boys say platforms like Facebook and Instagram make them feel more connected to their S.O., vs only 52% of girls. As a whole, boys are more likely to say social media makes them feel more connected to their person than girls, 50% of boys vs 37% of girls.
One of the reasons why girls may be wary of social media connection is that a significant number of girls have been made to feel uncomfortable by romantic advances online. About one in three girls (35%) report they’ve had to block someone online whose advances were unwanted, that’s double the 16% of boys who have had to do the same kind of blocking.
While dating, about a third (27%) of teens dating use social media to keep tabs on their partners, and girls tend to engage in this practice a little more frequently than the gentlemen.
And what about when relationships end (as teen romances so often do)? Research reveals girls are much more likely to erase their exes from Facebook/Insta/Snapchat/everything after they call it quits; 44% of girls block their exes on social media, vs. only 31% of boys. Meanwhile 46% of girls are likely to untag/delete photos of exes, compared to 30% of boys.
And when it comes to texting, thought it is the primary form teens use to communicate, girls definitely text more than boys, 79% compared with 66% of boys.
Teen texters, you mysterious creatures, we will never fully know you, but now that we’ve done a scoch of research on you, we do know you a smidge better. Never fear, no amount of stats in the world can solve the mystery that is you Snapchatting enigmas.
(Image via CBS Films.)