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Others mentioned how text-based communication can help them overcome the shyness they sometimes experience in person or give them time to come up with the perfect response during conversation. You know, so that kind of made me mad, but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to act clingy or whatever. Teens also described other negative aspects of technology in romantic relationships, such as surveillance that leads to jealousy, as well as arguments between partners that play out publicly on social media for all to see.
I think texting kind of makes you feel closer because boys are more shy. But when we text, it seems like it’s so much easier for him to talk to me. About a quarter – 27% – of teens with dating experience have had a partner use social media to track their whereabouts, and 27% of teens with dating experience say social media makes them feel jealous or unsure of their relationship.
Especially, like, it’s something different if you’re doing it over direct message. It’s something different if you’re doing it straight over a mention with, like, a picture or something.
Some said that they used text messaging because they didn’t want to see their former partner hurt, while others wished to avoid facing anger or physical retaliation.
Others said that they had never broken up with someone this way themselves, but have some sympathy for people who take this approach. But if it's something like they're having just general relationship issues or they're not interested in each other anymore, it's way too impersonal to do it like on video or on your phone. I think it’s kind of lesser and slightly disrespectful to do it through text, but I understand why, because it does take a lot to, like, go up to someone and say that you’re breaking up with them and to see their reaction.
Text messaging also is a common way for teens to flirt and express romantic interest.
But for all the advantages digital communication can offer, a number of teens in these focus groups said they are more at ease when talking to the object of their affection face to face. On talking to a crush via text message It’s like good and bad things because, like, all those texts, you really can’t communicate the way you communicate in person. They might think that you’re saying something in some type of way.
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Many teens are online throughout the day on multiple platforms where their communications are visible to others, and dodging or screening communications from one’s significant other in this environment is fraught with challenges. But if you’re kind of like, oh, it’s kind of a like a waste of time, then you won’t do that.