The teen dating scene can be awkward and uncomfortable, for teens as well as their parents.Technology has changed the way teens date, and many parents aren't sure how to talk about dating these days.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.My budding romance depended on whether I heard the shrill ring of an old-fashioned land-line phone. The social lives of today’s teens don’t revolve around waiting for their phones to ring.Teens are much more likely to connect with each other through some form of social media, whether it’s Twitter, Instagram or matchmaking apps such as Tinder and Hot Or Not.At least that’s what teens said in a recent story about online romance in the student newspaper at my daughters’ suburban Maryland high school.According to that story, “students initiate relationships online to meet new people, avoid stressful in-person meetings and hide their dating lives from their parents.” That’s certainly the case for some kids, according to my 17-year-old.
Difficulties with self-control, social skills and other common challenges can make adolescents more inclined to make poor choices.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.When it comes to dating, relationships, and sex, here's what men said, thought, and worried about back when they were teenagers, and what they say, think, and worry about now that they're Over 50: Will her parents let her stay out late? How long after her mammogram 'til I can touch her boob?