Social media increases pressure, opportunity for teens to date

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   Adolescent love is an overbearing social norm that has always existed. It is this pressure to find a boyfriend/girlfriend in high school that is taking over not only the high school experience but the teen years in general. 

   Of course these pressures have always been around, but with the new generations spending a good majority of their lives on social media, these influences are being implicated even outside of the school atmosphere.

   Social networking outlets and different dating websites are being used to find new romantic partners. This may seem rare to some of the older generations but this truly is happening. Long distance relationships are becoming more prevalent among teens due to the social media aspect. 

   “I have met a lot of people through Instagram and Snapchat and other social media websites and I’ve actually ended up being good friends with those people and hanging out with them in person,” junior Taylor Spry said. 

   Social media is bombarding teens with pictures if couples make them feel as if they should be part of a couple. 

   According to Amanda Lenhart’s article “Teens, Technology, and Romantic Relationships,” Lenhart gives a perspective from the teen mind with her survey with the national Pew Research Center. 

   According to the survey, overall, 57 percent of teens have begun friendships in a digital space, and the majority of teens with dating experience (76 percent) say they have only dated people they met via offline methods. One-quarter (24 percent) of teens have dated or hooked up with someone they first met online. Of those who have met a partner online, the majority met on social media sites, and the bulk of them met on Facebook.

    According to a poll taken by 94 Warsaw High school students, 54.3 percent reported that they have met a boyfriend/girlfriend on social media networks online. It is this ease that is putting this much more pressure on young teens to find a significant other while in high school. 

   In addition to seeing couples on social media, as students walk the halls and see their peers holding hands and swooning, it can become hard not to feel as if fitting into the social cues is necessary. Out of the 94 students that took the survey, 55 percent of students reported that they feel as if they are under pressure to have a boyfriend/girlfriend in high school to fit into the social norm that has been constructed for many years. 

   “I think there’s a pressure to date somebody in high school because that’s how everyone hangs out and stuff, they usually all hangout in pairs,” sophomore Mira Segar said. 

   Toxicity within teen relationships is very real. The dating process in teen years can be described as the trial runs because experimentation is something everybody goes through to figure out what kind of company they would like to keep. 

   “Relationships aren’t always easy going for me and a previous toxic relationship taught me a lot about self love and my worth. I no longer have to worry about someone hurting and I am glad that I experienced this at a young age so it paves the way for future relationships,” senior Kya Schepker said. 

   Generally, the teen years are a time of experimentation and excitement. Pressures to fit in have and will always be around and impact teen lives everyday.