RADICAL PARENTING: 5 Ways The Internet Has Changed Teen Dating

teens-textbyVanessa Van Petten

When I was at a dance in high school, I might dance with a guy who was sweaty and gross. Then I would check with my friends to see if he was cute or not (he was usually dancing behind me).  When they approved, I rubbed against him little harder and invariably he asked for my number.

Three to five days later, depending how much he liked me, he called, we chatted.  Eventually, we went on a date and the relationship began.  Nowadays, high school dating it is a totally different story.

This part is the same:

“When I was at a dance in high school, I might dance with a guy who was sweaty and gross. Then I would check with my friends to see if he was cute or not (he was usually dancing behind me).  When they approved, I rubbed against him little harder and invariably he asked for my number.”

But these days…

He might ask for my Facebook page. Three to five hours later, depending on how much he liked me, he would friend me.  We would proceed to “stalk” each other online, looking at pictures, checking out each other’s friends, applications and wall postings. Then we would poke (a way to flirt with) each other on Facebook.  Then we would write on each other’s walls. Then we would message or send virtual gifts or rank each other on the top friends application.  Then we would Facebook chat, then IM, then text, then talk.  Eventually, we might see each other in person, but by then we might already be boyfriend and girlfriend, broken up and got back together again.

The good of the new way today’s teens date:

1)   It takes longer.

2)   You get to know each other better through a variety of different channels (IM, Facebook, e-mail, text, etc.).

3)   It is a bit more fun, poking, seeing pictures and having chats.

The bad of the new way today’s teens date:

1)   There is a false sense of security. You feel so much closer to each other because you have seen each other’s pictures and friends online, but this is not always indicative of your real-life relationship.

2)   It is easy to fake it.  You know how long someone can spend getting the lighting just right for an iChat date? It’s difficult to vet what’s on their profiles.

3)   You miss facial expression and voice tone.  So much of teen dating is now done online, you miss the nuances and chemistry of real life.

Tell us: What do you think has changed about dating online? Is that good or bad?

vanessavanpettenyoure-groundedVanessa Van Petten is the teen author of the parenting book “You’re Grounded!” She writes a parenting blog along with 12 other teen writers from the kid’s perspective to help parents understand what is actually going on in the mind of kid’s today. Her parenting tips have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Daily News, Fox 5 New York, CBS 4 Miami and much more. Visit her web site at RadicalParenting.com

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