Survey: Digital devices add ominous aspect to teen dating

A quarter of teens talk or text with dating partner after midnight, even more get 30+ messages an hour. Program tries to educate teens about healty and abusive relationships.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor on

Good judgment doesn't automatically come with the convenience of speedy technology. This is especially true in the case of teen dating abuse which has become amplified since the advent of cellphones and the Internet, reports WCVB Boston.

The Technology & Teen Dating Abuse survey released by the Love Is Not Abuse Program, found that one in five teenagers said they were harassed, embarrassed and demeaned on a networking Web site by their boyfriend or girlfriend.

Being in constant contact either through text messaging or cellphones has exacerbated the need for some students to control their partner.

The survey results found that "24 percent communicated with their partner via cell phone or text messaging hourly between midnight and 5 a.m.," and close to 30 percent are virtually stalked - getting text-messages up to 30 times in an hour, asking about what they're doing.

The most telling result is that most parents surveyed had no idea that this behavior was going on.

The Love Is Not Abuse program teaches students about the dangers of dating violence is one answer to this problem. It is currently being taught at 438 10th grade health classes around the country, including at Revere High School in Boston.

"It's important to educate students early. If they get the information early, then you can prevent teen abuse from turning into domestic abuse in adult relationships," said Revere High Principal David Deruosi.

It is crucial that schools address the issue of dating violence because it can impact not only teens' social lives but also their studies.

"One of the things that I have seen as a school nurse is sometimes when there is a problem with the child's performance in the classroom you have to look at influences in their environment," she said. "Need to look at the impact. This issue does not just affect someone who is suffering from abuse but the bystanders as well." said Revere High School nurse Maureen Connelly
Editorial standards