Thursday February 13, 2014 | 08:00 AM
Posted by Rob Gould

As Valentine's Day approaches you might be wondering what role social media plays in your relationship. Or, if you're like me, what role it might play in why you don't have one. In any case, a survey conducted by Pew Internet takes an in-depth look at how social media, cell phones and the Internet both negatively and positively influence the life of many American couples.

The survey covers all sorts of territory. The results are very insightful and you should definitely check them out. However, I'm just going to cut to the chase here. What was the most exciting finding? People are sending more naked selfies. And, just plain old raunchy text messages too. But, honestly, who cares about those? How boring.

Pew conducted the survey, titled “Couples, the Internet, and Social Media,” of 2,252 U.S. adults and found that 9% of cell phone owners have sent a sext of themselves to someone else, up from 6% in 2012. And, that doesn't even include all the people who are too embarrassed to admit that they are madly sexting all the time.

At the same time, 20% of cell phone owners reported to have received a sext from someone they know, up from 15% in 2012.

As the roughly two-to-one proportion in sextees-to-sexters implies, there are some active sexters out there, sending photos to several different recipients. I'm looking at you Anthony Weiner. It's also worth mentioning to those of you sending all those sexts: 3% of mobile owners said they have forwarded a sext to someone else. Think about that for a few minutes. No crying allowed.

Married and partnered people are just as likely as singles to report having sent sexts, but single adults are more likely to report receiving and forwarding them.

It's also worth mentioning that no one is sexting me. Ever. Nor am I being forwarded all sorts of hot naked selfies. I'm getting nothing. Just texts from AT&T reminding me that I owe them money. It seems very unfair that I'm getting left out of all the sexting action. Clearly, I'm spending way too much time on Twitter.

Anyway, I hope you have a very romantic Valentine's Day tomorrow celebrating with the one you love. If you've never tried it, send them a sext. I dare you.

For more coverage of the survey: The Social Graf, MediaPost


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Social media has changed the way that many of us learn, purchase, interact and explore the world around us. And, things are just getting started. Social, Social is a place to discuss social media with people from all walks of life. No experts allowed.

About the Author

Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002).

Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg

His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).

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