Tinder and other dating apps like to focus on how digital romances begin. But a study by Pew Research Center shows that more teen daters are using their phones to end relationships than scout for new romantic possibilities.
Almost 30% of teenagers have broken up or been broken up with over text message.
One middle school boy who participated in the study said, "I think that texting is better because you're not really in person. Like one time I told her you're just kind of being too clingy and it's getting really annoying. And she like threw a book at me, so that's why it's probably better to do texts."
But is it really better to break up using an app? Teens don't think so. A majority of teens rated messaging on social media sites or changing relationship statuses online as the least acceptable methods to break up, yet a sizeable number do so.
Only 8% of over 13 to 17-year-olds who have dated someone in the past met a romantic partner online -- mostly through Facebook -- but over 18% of teens with dating experience have experienced or initiated a breakup by sending a private social media message, changing their relationship status on Facebook or posting a status update.
Some justify these tactics by saying that you're less likely to "feel bad." But in person breakups are still considered the most acceptable.
Plastering photos of boyfriends and girlfriends on Instagram and posting lovey-dovey tweets seem rosy while a romance lasts but breakups in the technology-laden 21st century are treading a thin line between private and public spaces.
Almost half of the teens surveyed feel that social media offers a place for them to show care and affection towards their partners as well as feel more emotionally connected to them, but many of them reported that the platform is also used for revenge and harassment.
A portion of the teens admitted to accessing their partner's texts without permission or impersonating them and messaging people both during and after a relationship.
Incessant texting and other online pressures often drove teenagers to act in ways they did not want to. 15% of teen daters say their current or former partner has pressured them, via the internet or text messaging, to engage in sexual activity they did not want to have.
The online space is especially unnerving for teen girls. 35% of them have had to block or un-friend someone after they experienced uncomfortable flirting on social media, double the 16% of boys that had to resort to the same.
Breakups are starting to getting messier for teens. Now, it's not just about avoiding his house or her number. Photos pop up and unwanted messages plague you on social media-- all while the world watches on.