On Thursday, Pew Research Center released a survey entitled “Teens, Technology and Romantic Relationships,” which seems to have been written specifically for out-of-touch parents who say things like, “Twit me later!” and, “What are you Facebooking about today?” and, “Let’s take a selfie of the Grand Canyon.”
The study, which surveyed teens aged 13 to 17 in fall of 2014 and spring of 2015, didn’t find much that would surprise any internet-active young person, but it did find one bit of data that would have really comforted 15-year-old Joanna: most teens aren’t really dating.
The survey found that only 35 percent of teens have ever even been in a romantic relationship. Of these daters, only 8 percent of them met their partner online, meaning Catfish: The TV Show is basically a lie.
The survey also found that dating as a teen is the worst. Half of teens use social media to flirt, and although online and text break-ups are discouraged, nearly a third have received a break-up text, 15 percent have just “drifted away,” or been drifted away from, while six percent of teens have broken up with someone by changing their relationship status on Facebook. Post-break-up cleansing is also notoriously difficult: almost half have deleted an ex from his or her cell phone contacts. Additionally, 38 percent have untagged or deleted photos with their ex on Facebook and Instagram, while 37 percent have unfriended or blocked an ex.
If this is surprising to you, chances are you are old, and perhaps not totally emotionally wrecked. That said, teens, if you’re reading this, know that things get (slightly) better and people aren’t always so insecure and horrible.
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