Among teen social media users with relationship experience: Boys are a bit more likely than girls to view social media as a space for emotional and logistical connection with their significant other.
Some 65% of boys with relationship experience who use social media agree that these sites make them feel more connected about what’s going on in their significant other’s life (compared with 52% of girls).
Among teens with relationship experience: Beyond publicly displaying affection and one’s own relationship, social media is a space where many teens can express public support or approval of others’ romantic relationships: 63% of teens with dating experience have posted or liked something on social media as a way to indicate their support of one of their friends’ relationships.
Girls are especially likely to publicly support their friends’ relationships using social media (71% of girls with dating experience have done so, compared with 57% of boys) although boys and girls are equally likely to publicly express affection for their own partner in social media environments.
In addition, teens from less well-off households (those earning less than ,000 per year) engage in each of these behaviors at higher rates, compared with those from higher-income households.
A high school girl explained: “Maybe they’re just not sure about it, too. I wouldn’t really know if we were in a relationship yet, so I wouldn’t say anything about it.At the same time, this self-presentation can sometimes appear inauthentic or phony to others.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.when I’m in person with him, like, it’s harder for me to tell him what I’m feeling.So like I’ll think about it when we’re together, and then like afterwards I’ll probably text him like what I was feeling and tell him my problems.”“I think texting kind of makes you feel closer because – boys are more shy. my boyfriend, he doesn’t like to express himself like that.