Teens Flirt Online But Find Romance Offline: Pew

by Devin Coldewey /  / Updated 

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Teenagers are savvy Internet and social media users, and regularly chat and flirt online, but very few make romantic connections that way, according to a survey published Thursday by Pew Internet.

A third of the 1,000 Americans aged 13-17 surveyed reported having dating experience. Among those, half said they've expressed interest in people by friending or following them on social media, or by posting or commenting where that person can see it. But only a quarter of the teen daters — just 8 percent of the full 1,000 — reported having met a significant other online.

Pew Internet

Instead, social networks and tech in general seem to be a way to explore and support existing relationships: 92 percent reported texting, 70 percent chatted or posted online together, and more than half spent time doing video chats.

Related: Teens Use Variety of Social Media, But Facebook Still Supreme: Pew

Social media also has a troublesome side, especially for young women. A quarter of all teens surveyed, and 35 percent of teen girls, said they'd had to unfriend or block someone for excessive flirting. One in 10 teens reported accessing, impersonating or tampering with a partner's account. And nearly a quarter reported being put down or bullied by a partner, forced to show them texts or messages, or made to block former girlfriends or boyfriends.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news