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A majority of teens with dating experience (76%, or 26% of all teens) say they have only dated people they met via in-person methods. One-in-five (20%) of all teens have used their social networks to find new partners by following or friending someone because a friend suggested they might want to date them.
Still, a quarter of teen daters (24%, or 8% of all teens) have dated or hooked up with someone they first met online. Older teens are more likely to do this than younger ones; 23% of 15- to 17-year-olds have followed someone at a friend’s behest for dating purposes, while 15% of 13- and 14-year-olds have done so.
Indeed, 25% of all teens (representing one-third of teen social media users) have unfriended or blocked someone on social media because that person was flirting in a way that made them uncomfortable. However, other approaches – online as well as offline – are relatively popular as well: Around one-quarter of teens (26%) say they would not ask at all – that they would wait for the person they were interested in to ask them first – while 6% indicate they would ask the person out using some option other than the ones listed above.
Just as adult women are often subject to more frequent and intense harassment online, teen girls are substantially more likely than boys to experience uncomfortable flirting within social media environments. When it comes to dating, some traditional practices remain common.
Other ways in which teens let someone know that they are attracted to them include sharing something funny or interesting with them online (46%), sending them flirtatious messages (31%), making them a music playlist (11%), sending flirty or sexy pictures or videos of themselves (10%) and making a video for them (7%).
Certain types of flirting behavior are relatively common among teens who have never dated before; others are almost entirely the purview of those with past experience in romantic relationships.
Fully 31% of 13 and 14-year-old girls have blocked or unfriended someone for this reason—this figure is similar to the 38% of older girls who have done so, and nearly triple the rate among 13- and 14-year-old boys. By contrast, boys are nearly twice as likely as girls to say they would usually ask someone out in person if they’re interested in going on a date (69% vs.