Digital Dating

“Over one quarter (28.1%) of teens who had been in a romantic relationship at some point in the previous year said they had been the victim of at least one form of digital dating abuse.”

“Males were significantly more likely to have experienced digital dating abuse (32.3%) compared to females (23.6%), and more likely to experience all types of digital dating abuse, and were even more likely to experience physical aggression.”

These two points of data are from the attached blog from the Cyberbullying Research Center. Did those research results surprise you?

Unlike when I grew up, our kids are digitally dating. I’ve worked with students that have met someone IRL (in real life), that person moved to a different city, and then they continued their relationship digitally. I’ve talked to youth who have met their partner online and have never met in person. There are also youth who date in person, but stay connected (and date) through digital devices.

When our kids begin dating IRL, we should have a discussion around what a healthy, in-person relationship looks like. We can’t forget to discuss what a healthy digital relationship looks like as well. Dr. Patchin and Hinduja at the Cyberbullying Research Center have done some research on digital dating abuse. Please take a moment to read about what students are reporting about digital dating abuse and some thoughts on what we adults can do to help. There are more resources about all forms of healthy relationships on the Shape the Sky website.

~ Ryan