With the ubiquity of social media and dating apps today, one might think more teens would be taking to the internet or apps to start relationships.
However, that’s not the case.
According to a new Pew Research Center study, “Teens, Technology, and Romantic Relationships,” the majority of teens ages 13-17 prefer asking people out in person over heading to a social networking site.
The study also found that just 8% of the 1,060 teens surveyed reported meeting a romantic partner online on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, messaging app Kik, and online gaming.
When it comes to asking someone out on a date, social media is one of the least-preferred methods. The teens surveyed said they were more likely to ask someone in person (52%), wait to be asked (26%), send a text message (24%) or call another on the phone (15%) before resorting to social media (9%). Of course, this doesn’t reflect how the teens actually behaved, but the way they think they’re most likely to ask someone out.
When looking at the study, it’s worth noting that only 35% of those surveyed were in relationships.
Interestingly, 57% of teens reported meeting a new friend online. 29% of teens say they have made five or more friends online.
So while it’s typical of teens to meet friends online, maybe they find it to be a social faux pas if they have to tell others they met their boyfriend/girlfriend over Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, or so on.
It’s unlikely that these teens will remain so old-fashioned, though. Pew Research Center has found that one in five adults has tried online dating and that its stigma is lessening with time. Once these teenagers don’t have a built-in pool of dating candidates surrounding them at school every weekday, they might give Tinder a shot.
The Pew study also found that while most teens ask each other out and meet in person, 78% also found breaking up in person the “most acceptable” method to ending a relationship.
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