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The fall formal dance was just a week away and I was hoping a boy I liked would ask me to go with him.

There was no way I could leave the room: What if he called and I wasn’t there to answer the phone? Dorm rooms didn’t come with answering machines and the development of voice mail was light years away.

Today’s teens are flirting in an entirely different landscape.

Sure, they are still flirting in hallways and movie theaters but they are also flirting over text message, social media, and apps specifically designed for flirting and dating.

Today, nearly half of the public knows someone who uses online dating or who has met a spouse or partner via online dating – and attitudes toward online dating have grown progressively more positive.

To be sure, many people remain puzzled that someone would want to find a romantic partner online – 23% of Americans agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate” – but in general it is much more culturally acceptable than it was a decade ago.

Here are five facts about online dating: Online dating has lost much of its stigma, and a majority of Americans now say online dating is a good way to meet people.

When we first studied online dating habits in 2005, most Americans had little exposure to online dating or to the people who used it, and they tended to view it as a subpar way of meeting people.

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Few Americans had online dating experience when Pew Research Center first polled on the activity in 2005, but today 15% of U. adults report they have used online dating sites or mobile dating apps.

It’s no surprise to learn that 81 percent of teens use social media, according to data from The Pew Research Center.

Sure, teens still meet in the same ways that kids always have, but the low social risks associated with flirting online have made that option more acceptable to some than trying to talk face to face in a crowded school hallway.

As with most parenting issues concerning teens, one of the best things we can do is to talk to our teens about the possible dangers of dating online, experts say.

Though teens think they know everything, they really can be naïve and trusting just when they need to be wary and skeptical.

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