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.
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.
Teens tend to experience each of these behaviors to a lesser extent in the context of their romantic relationships than they do in their broader friend networks.
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.
One high school boy from our focus groups relates his strategy: “Sometimes, if you [are romantically involved with] a bunch of girls, you can have set time periods – where it’s like you can ignore her for a little bit and talk to her. One high school girl explains her calculus: “It depends on like what they’re doing in the picture.
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.