The Use of Digital Media in Adolescent and Young Adult Dating Relationships: Advantages and Risks


This research aims to understand how adolescents and young digital natives experience the use of social networks in their relationships. The methodology used is qualitative. Ten in-depth interviews were conducted with adolescents and young men and women between 16 and 20 years old. The interviews were conducted until data saturation was achieved. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and returned to the participants to check whether everything they had said had been recorded. Once reviewed, they were coded by three researchers and analyzed using Atlas-ti software. The results show that, for the participants, technological media have changed the way they relate to each other. Social networks have been consolidated as the method par excellence to meet new people and engage in conversations, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The uses of these digital media have advantages, such as meeting other people and interacting with them. Digital media is a window to communication that is maintained over time and distance; it also facilitates communication of introverted people. They also present risks such as the impunity perceived by young people for acts carried out through social networks: false profiles and the anonymity of the aggressors. Harassment and control of the partner is also executed through the network, although in most cases the victim is not aware of this harassment and control. The daily occurrence of these events and their frequency makes young people normalize violence.


Encarnacion Soriano Ayala
Professor, Education, Universidad de Almería, Almería, Spain

Verónica C. Cala
Assistant Teacher, Research Methods in Education, University of Almería, Spain

Rachida Dalouh Ounia
Assistant Teacher, Research Methods, Education, University of Almería, Spain, Spain


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


New Digital Institutions and Spaces


Internet, Social Networks, Young people, Control, Harassment

Digital Media

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