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But even though breaking up via text message is largely frowned upon, 27% of teens with dating experience admit to breaking up with someone by text.

Digital communication plays a role in all aspects of teen romantic relationships, including when those relationships end.

It was relatively rare for teens in our focus groups to talk about meeting romantic partners online. These interactions have their own unwritten – but widely understood – rules.

Some teens explained that they would not trust someone they met online because of the likelihood of misrepresentation, while others were generally distrustful of all strangers online. I was dating this girl that I met through a social website that probably hardly anybody knows about. Everything from one’s choice of emoji to the spelling of the word “hey” can carry a deeper meaning.

A little bit more bold over text, because you wouldn't say certain things in person. You just wouldn't say certain things in, like, talking face to face with them because that might be kind of awkward. Text messaging and talking on the phone are the top two ways that teens spend time with their romantic partners – but when it comes to daily interactions, texting is by far the dominant way teens in romantic relationships communicate: 72% do so every day, compared with 39% of teens in romantic relationships who talk on the phone daily.

Some teens in our focus groups mentioned that their communication choices often evolve with the intensity and duration of their relationships.

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