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Teen dating violence: Technology’s influence.

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Technology’s Impact on Teen Dating Violence

TLDR:

Key Points:

  • Teen dating violence awareness month is in February
  • Family Crisis Center of East Texas highlights technology’s role in teen dating

Technology’s Impact on Teen Dating Violence

In February, the Family Crisis Center of East Texas is drawing attention to the role of technology in teen dating, emphasizing the need for understanding and vigilance. With the prevalence of cell phones and tablets, teenagers are spending increasing amounts of time online, navigating online relationships that can lead to isolation and vulnerability to abusive behaviors.

Digital dating abuse, including bullying, harassment, stalking, and intimidation within romantic relationships, is a growing concern. Whitney Burran, the executive director of the Family Crisis Center, emphasizes the normalization of stalking behaviors on social media platforms like Snapchat through features like ‘Snap Map’.

Adults may not be aware of concerning trends like ‘Zillow surfing’, where teens explore crushes’ homes online, or tracking locations on apps and real-time monitoring of Instagram Direct Messages. Despite the prevalence of digital dating abuse, few teens seek help, highlighting the need for adults to have conversations about healthy digital communication and boundaries.

The consequences of digital dating abuse can be severe, leading to issues like eating disorders, stress, anxiety, and diminished self-esteem. To address this, the Family Crisis Center encourages caregivers and educators to establish family media agreements, prioritize safety, model healthy digital boundaries, and connect teens with supportive adults.

Throughout February, the agency provides informative posts about teen dating violence on social media and hosts presentations for students on staying safe online and offline. By raising awareness and taking decisive action, a safer community for teens can be created in the digital age.

If you or someone you know is experiencing dating violence, domestic violence, or sexual assault, reach out to the hotline at 1-800-828-7233 (SAFE) or text 936-552-9256. The Family Crisis Center of East Texas empowers survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault through crisis intervention and advocacy services.


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