A majority of teens with dating experience (76%) say they have only dated people they met via offline methods.One-quarter (24%) of teen “daters” or roughly 8% of all teens have dated or hooked up with someone they first met online.At least that’s what teens said in a recent story about online romance in the student newspaper at my daughters’ suburban Maryland high school.
Along with in-person flirting, teens often use social media to like, comment, “friend” or joke around with someone on whom they have a crush.
Among all teens: Each of the flirting behaviors measured in the survey is more common among teens with previous dating experience than among those who have never dated before.
When they’re online, teens have the freedom to be whoever they want, which may be a good thing for a shy kid who just doesn’t feel comfortable talking directly to people. One mom I know was distressed to discover that her daughter had created multiple personalities on Tumblr, including one that seemed to invite followers of her blog to send inappropriate photos to her.
Some of the girls quoted in the high school newspaper story said they got fed up with using Tinder when boys immediately requested that they send nude photos.
As with most parenting issues concerning teens, one of the best things we can do is to talk to our teens about the possible dangers of dating online, experts say.