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Teens in our focus group described a variety of practices for flirting on social media. But despite the wide range of communication technologies available to modern teens, the time-tested tradition of asking in person continues to be the main way teens would ask out someone they were interested in.
One high school girl explained: “A little bit more bold over text, because you wouldn’t say certain things in person. you just wouldn’t say certain things in, like, talking face to face with them because that might be kind of awkward. Cause they’re not really there.” Many teens use social media as a venue to flirt and interact with potential romantic partners, but for those on the receiving end of those advances, social media flirting can often turn in a much less desirable direction. Some 52% of teens say if they wanted to ask someone out on a date, they would usually do that in person.
And then like we just like really liked each other. And, I mean, you…it’s not like you just kind of comment on their picture like, hey, here’s my number. I’d be kind of creeped out if someone mentioned my photos from a long time ago, especially because those photos tend to be very embarrassing.Fully 31% of 13 and 14-year-old girls have blocked or unfriended someone for this reason—this figure is similar to the 38% of older girls who have done so, and nearly triple the rate among 13- and 14-year-old boys. By contrast, boys are nearly twice as likely as girls to say they would usually ask someone out in person if they’re interested in going on a date (69% vs.A high school girl in our focus groups related her experience with uncomfortable online pursuit: “I think of stalking like if a person is constantly typing to you or something. 35%), and are also significantly more likely than girls to ask someone out via text message (27% vs. Boys and girls are equally likely to say they would ask someone out by calling them on the phone, messaging them on a social networking site or getting one of their friends to ask for them.Overall, 3% of all teens have met a romantic partner online but never met them in person. And we talked for about a week, and then I decided he actually seems kind of chill. And then I took it slow, like, ‘cause meeting someone over the Internet isn’t always the best idea. Such a move, she noted, will reveal to the profile owner via a notification that you’ve been looking through their profile.Teens in our focus groups related their experiences meeting partners through online venues. So if you’re going to do it, like do it very carefully.”“Well, I said…we just said, like, do you want to hang out at the movies sometime? And we kind of met there and then we just kind of became romantically involved. And if the feelings aren’t reciprocated, such liking of old photos can border on disturbing.