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At the same time, even among boys this impact is fairly muted: Just 16% say social media makes them feel “a lot” more connected to their significant other’s life, while just 13% feel “a lot” more emotionally close to their significant other thanks to social media.

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.

Among lower-income teens with dating experience, 73% (compared with 59% of higher-income teens) have supported their friends’ relationships on social media, while 47% of less well-off teens (and 33% of higher-income teens) have publicly expressed affection for their own partner in a public way on social media. Or just a date,” plus your beloved’s username or profile.

Teens in our focus group explained specific ways in which a relationship might be displayed on social media. You need to have the padlock emoji with a heart and two people holding hands. Focus group teens also noted that posting publicly about a relationship – noting the date you started the relationship in your bio, declaring your affection, posting photos – sometimes had to do with gaining a sense of status, expressing possessiveness or getting attention from peers: High school boy 1: But even as they use social media to support their friends’ relationships, many teen daters express annoyance at the public nature of their own romantic partnerships on social media.

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.

Some 37% of teens with dating experience have used social media to tell their significant other how much they like them in a way that is visible to other people.

So I think he says more stuff, like how he feels through text. You can be Kik-ing Photos and posts can be used by teens to incite jealousy in others, often former partners, and lead to jealous feelings for some teens.

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.

Teens are especially attuned to this type of social curation: When it comes to teen friendships, fully 85% of teen social media users agree that social media allows people to show a side of themselves that they can’t show online.

At the same time, 77% agree that people are less authentic and real on social media than they are in real life.