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Similarly 50% of boys say social media makes them feel more emotionally connected with their significant other, compared with 37% of girls.
At the same time, even among boys this impact is fairly muted: Just 16% say social media makes them feel “a lot” more connected to their significant other’s life, while just 13% feel “a lot” more emotionally close to their significant other thanks to social media.
Just 31% of such teens disagree with this statement, and only a small percentage (2%) disagree “strongly.” Boys and girls, older and younger teens, and those from higher- and lower-income households are equally likely to agree with this statement.
Teens in our focus groups explained their concerns about people being overly involved, especially in breakups, and their discomfort with the permanence of posted content.
But a substantial minority feel that their partner acts differently – in positive or negative ways — on social media than he or she does in real life.
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.And I wouldn’t want to be obsessive about it, and I wouldn’t want people to think I was bragging either, so I just wouldn’t show anything.” “Sometimes if your parents find out, I mean, my mom lets me have a girlfriend, but some protective parents …they sometimes don’t even let them out with their friends. But he liked a girl that I liked and he asked her out, and she said yeah.At the same time, 77% agree that people are less authentic and real on social media than they are in real life.Teens tend to experience each of these behaviors to a lesser extent in the context of their romantic relationships than they do in their broader friend networks.