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.As a high school boy related, people in relationships change “You’ve got to put the date in the bio and her in the bio. Fully 69% of teen social media users with dating experience agree that too many people can see what’s happening in their relationship on social media, with 16% indicating that they “strongly” agree.Among teens with relationship experience: Beyond publicly displaying affection and one’s own relationship, social media is a space where many teens can express public support or approval of others’ romantic relationships: 63% of teens with dating experience have posted or liked something on social media as a way to indicate their support of one of their friends’ relationships.

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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.

Teens from less well-off households, as well as those who have met a partner online, are especially likely to have done this.

And then you would go back and instead of talking to her, be like, sorry, I was in the shower or something like that. If they’re just standing side by side, it’s like, chill. if he’s got his arm on her or something, like, more. Like I guess it just depends on your jealousy level if you can feel like, ‘oh, I know my man wants me.’ Or if you’re like ‘does he really want me?

’ It just depends on the person.” As seen in our report on teen friendships, social media allows users to curate their online presence in a way that puts their best digital foot forward, or shows a different side of their personality than they can show offline.

And I wouldn’t want to be obsessive about it, and I wouldn’t want people to think I was bragging either, so I just wouldn’t show anything.” “Sometimes if your parents find out, I mean, my mom lets me have a girlfriend, but some protective parents …

they sometimes don’t even let them out with their friends. But he liked a girl that I liked and he asked her out, and she said yeah.

At the same time, this self-presentation can sometimes appear inauthentic or phony to others.

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.

On the other hand, there are no differences between boys and girls on the question of whether their partner is less authentic on social media than they are in real life.

For a substantial minority of teens, social media offers a space to publicly express affection or solidarity with their romantic partner.

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.