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18-Mar-2015 16:56

At least that’s what teens said in a recent story about online romance in the student newspaper at my daughters’ suburban Maryland high school.

According to that story, “students initiate relationships online to meet new people, avoid stressful in-person meetings and hide their dating lives from their parents.” That’s certainly the case for some kids, according to my 17-year-old.

She says that teens she knows often meet online by contacting each other through Facebook and by commenting on each other’s Twitter feeds and Instagram photos. If that person “likes” you back, it’s time for a digital chat.

Or they play around on Tinder, that popular matchmaking app that allows users to find potential matches based on their proximity to each other, a couple photos and their common interests. “If you want to talk to someone, but you’re too embarrassed to do it in real life, it’s easy to do it over the Internet instead of face to face,” she says.

My budding romance depended on whether I heard the shrill ring of an old-fashioned land-line phone. The social lives of today’s teens don’t revolve around waiting for their phones to ring.

Teens are much more likely to connect with each other through some form of social media, whether it’s Twitter, Instagram or matchmaking apps such as Tinder and Hot Or Not.

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It’s no surprise to learn that 81 percent of teens use social media, according to data from The Pew Research Center.Sure, teens still meet in the same ways that kids always have, but the low social risks associated with flirting online have made that option more acceptable to some than trying to talk face to face in a crowded school hallway.



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