Monday, June 29, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teen Dating - Techno Dating Hints

One of my favorite parenting websites, Tangerine Times, just posted a great article on teen relationships (via technology) - ahhh, those summer romances now in the techno age! Who would have ever thought???

Techno-Dating Hints
In this new age of dating with the full integration of technology; I’ve been thinking about how girls (and boys) can and should handle break-ups. Teens so fully integrate their social life with their technology it begs the question what to do when things break off or turn ugly?

What’s the digital protocol for keeping your ex “around” when you break up? He may be out of your teen’s life, but still in their cell phone with a special ringtone, a sweet picture that comes up when he calls — or on their Facebook page, even if he’s not making comments. Does your teen delete from him from their phone, and de-friend him completely? Even though they may not attend the same school, their presence in their digital lives can still linger and needs to be changed (for the most part) if they are to move on in a healthy way.
NOT an Expert on This…That’s for sure.

OK, obviously I’m not an expert and have no experience dating in this “techno-era” - BUT I do have some ideas you may want to pass along to your teen if you are struggling along with them with a ‘Break-up in the High Tech Era”…..


Right when your teen is fresh from breaking up - the ” post breakup” - the best thing to do is for them to gradually edge him/her out. That means they keep him/her in their cell phone IF they want, but should take off any special ringtone or the picture that came up when he/she called. This draws the attention away from the relationship when your teen is hanging out with their friends.


As for Facebook, if the breakup was somewhat amicable, there’s no need to de-friend but they should avoid being reminded of him every time someone comments on a photo of him or writes on his Wall They can do this by changing their settings on Facebook to hide his/her updates. They can can stay FB friends but don’t have to know his Top 5 Favorite Songs or who is in a “new” relationship with. I’ve always advised my kids NOT to use the relationship status on FBook as I think it just makes for trouble and doesn’t give you a lot of flexibility to change relationships quietly.

Messy Breakup?

Messy, painful breakup? They should feel free to de-friend him/her, especially since Facebook doesn’t blare that info (unless they have a “relationship status”) and there’s no reason you need to keep up on his digital life, and vice versa.

And, finally if they have been hanging on to the digital vestiges of an ex, maybe they should cut them out of their phone and Facebook once and for all. It is the easiest way to lower visibility and “move on” in this day and age of techno-dating. Teens pay attention to cell phone ringtones, pictures on Fbook and friend status on Facebook. These are all markers they look for to figure out who is “with who”.

It’s all part of the “scene” now…no going back to the old days.

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