Teens, Technology and Romantic Relationships

Adolescence is a period of incredible physical, social, and emotional development.  For many teenagers, peer relationships, especially romantic ones, are a major social focus. Given how profoundly enmeshed these technological tools are in the lives of youths and how quickly these platforms shift and evolve, it is important to understand the role of social and digital media in these romantic relationships. According to recent findings, the digital world is only one aspect of a larger whole where teenagers meet, date and breakup with romantic partners.

Adolescents use the digital space to flirt, and chat with potential and current sparks of interest. Online spaces play a major role in teenagers’ communication with such flames.

Parents may be hesitant or concerned about their children meeting or flirting with someone they meet online, as well concerns about cyberbullying and sexting. They might be perplexed by romances that seem to be based solely on texting.

romantic relationships ichhori.webp

How common are online romantic relationships in teens?

In a 2014-2015 study, teens are much less likely to start a romantic relationship online, despite the fact that 57% of them have digital friendships. The majority of teens (76%) who have had dating experience claim that they have only dated people they have met in person. A mere 8% of teenagers have engaged in physical contact with someone they met on social media, with the majority of such encounters taking place on Facebook. 

To show their desire, 55% have flirted or spoken to someone in person. 50% of teens have “friended” someone on social media to express their interest on the person. 47% have used social media to convey their attraction by liking, commenting, or engaging with the person in some way.

Teens believe messaging or texting is their favourite way to spend time together, which is odd since they are not technically together. Phone calls, meeting in person, and other forms of communication were included in the mix.

Technology is changing teen romance

Teens can communicate with other teens all over the world. Social media offers limitless ways to communicate with friends as well as strangers from different parts of the world. In contrast to the older generation, the dating pool was likely made up of students from high school or fellow teens from the neighborhood.

The flirting game has also changed; teens can now send emoticons, jokes and winks to others on social media at any time. More than half of teenagers have used social media to express their interest in someone. Whereas, the older ways of flirting were probably limited to seeing each other in class or in the corridors.

With pros also come the cons. Via social media, an adolescent can be subjected to unwanted exposure, sexual images, and abuse or harassment. One-quarter of teenagers claim that they have had to block or unfriend those who were acting inappropriately. Prior to the digital age, a creepy crush’s stalking most likely consisted of calling your home number and then hanging up. Or he could have rode his bike past your house many times to see whether you’re home.

Jealousy can emanate from social media use. A teen will observe the conversations that are taking place online. Teens will be able to read a partner’s conversations with others, along with his/her likes, comments. About 27% of teenagers said social media makes them feel jealous and insecure about their romantic relationships. Before the digital age, you might have been jealous when you saw your lover chatting with someone else. Perhaps you had a pang of jealousy when you heard the popular kid conversing with your lover in the halls.

Helpful tips for teens in online romantic relationships

1.Safeguard your personal information

When it comes to stealing your identity, scammers can be very creative and persuasive. You should never share bank account details, or any usernames and passwords to strangers online. Sending money, even if the person says it is an emergency, is never a good idea. Full names, birthdays, addresses and other personal details should be kept private until you know and trust the person youre talking to.

2.Be cautious on social media

Popular dating apps link to Facebook and show possible matches some of your public information. Limit the amount of information that is available by changing the privacy settings on Facebook or other social media account, by making as little information as possible available.

3.Before you meet in person, get to know each other first

Before meeting up with someone you met on a dating app or website, teens should make sure they are not being catfished. You should contact the person on the app itself for a while before meeting up for a date, and avoid meeting up the person if you sense something is wrong. Video chatting allows you to verify that the person you are chatting with is who they claim to be. Even if they have a clever reason, if they refuse to Skype or FaceTime they might be trying to hide something.

4.Perform a background check

If young daters have mutual friends with an online attraction, they may reach out and inquire about the person’s reliability. You can also use a search engine to reverse-search the photographs they have posted on the app. If the search returns photos linked to various social media sites, the images were most likely taken from someone else’s profiles.

5.Go on safe dates

Make sure the date takes place during the day and in a public place. You should not welcome dates to your house, nor should you go to your date’s house at first. You may inform your friends and family about your plans and have a backup plan in case anything goes wrong. You should also refuse drives from matches before you have established a relationship with them, and if possible drive yourself or ask your parents to drive you to the meeting place. Further, there is safety in numbers, so propose a double or group date.

6.Trust your friends and family

If your family or your friends warn you about a potentially dangerous match , you should probably listen to them. Those who are not involved in the situation will have a more impartial and clearer perspective and viewpoint of a future date. You on the other hand may be too excited to notice any potential red flags. If something does not feel quite perfect, it really isn’t. If you feel frustrated or uncomfortable to meet someone you have met online, you are under no obligation to meet them. 

Overall, it can be seen that teenagers use technology and social media extensively in their interactions while retaining “real life” ties. It also means that sexting, cyberbullying and relationship-related violence are serious problems for a large number of teenagers. For many, however, do not know that the situation they are describing is a concern. 

Although technology has been an integral part of young people’s lives, it has not yet overtaken face-to-face interactions. Offline was referred to by a number of young people as “the true world”, implying that it is perceived as a distinct form, and more genuine than online interactions. In reality, the vast majority of people liked and valued face-to-face communications more. Technology has undoubtedly altered the way many young people meet and communicate with others with whom they are romantically involved, but it does not seem to have completely eliminated real-life romance. In the modern era, parents’ position in helping young people through relationships is just as vital as it always has been.


  1. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2015/10/01/teens-technology-and-romantic-relationships/#:~:text=While%20most%20teen%20romantic%20relationships,whom%20they%20have%20a%20crush.

  2. https://smartcouples.ifas.ufl.edu/parentscoparents/teen-dating-what-parents-should-know/teens-technology-and-relationships/

  3. https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-technology-is-changing-teen-romance-2608931

  4. https://staysafeonline.org/blog/7-rules-teens-follow-online-dating/#:~:text=Keep%20Your%20Identity%20Safe&text=Teach%20your%20kids%20to%20never,person%20claims%20it's%20an%20emergency.

  5. https://parentinfo.org/article/teenage-relationships-in-the-digital-age

Previous Post Next Post