Adolescence is often filled with anxiety and stress as youth struggle with developmental milestones, including establishing their identity and intimacy with others.With this in mind, we can examine how technology plays both a positive and a negative role in the dating process.For youth, who are developmentally more fragile than adults, the impacts of this scrutiny and betrayal are much more severe. is a professor of Community and Cultural Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
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What should be private is no longer private; rather, it is broadcast to the masses for public consumption and ridicule.
There are not many of us who could handle that kind of scrutiny.
Given the developmental struggles youth face during adolescence, these impacts should not surprise us.
When someone’s relationship plays out in real time to a large audience, the time for recovery (not to mention self-preservation) is nonexistent.
My people are from the world’s newest nation of South Sudan and we carry our culture everywhere we go.
I love and embrace my culture because that is what I grew up to do and I feel like it has made me the person I am today.
But, instead of simply asking someone out, youth now use technology to screen potential partners.
A few years ago, my colleagues and I conducted focus groups with high school teens, and we found that youth prefer to “get to know” their potential partner online first before going out on a date (Baker & Carreno, 2015).
Two other studies with high school-aged adolescents also showed high prevalence rates of cyber dating violence, including: What these data tell us is that while some things have not changed (the majority of youth want to be in a romantic relationship), the way they go about it and the risks they face have changed dramatically with the introduction of technology.
To understand this process, and what youth are experiencing, it helps to take a developmental perspective.
This lack of awareness by teens as to what constitutes dating violence brings us to the second important issue, i.e., the need to understand how dating violence and technology intersect with other behaviors.