Snap, write, upload; smile, tag, post. These are the sequence of actions that have become prevalent amongst social media users. Now, more than ever, such platforms have enabled users to connect with each other, share information, and even initiate romantic relationships. Most social media are designed to stimulate positive interactions among users, for example via “likes” and “favorites,” (Valkenburg, Koutamanis, & Vossen, 2017). However, with this sense of empowerment through a screen also comes the possibility of becoming negatively affected by the interpersonal responses that one receives on social media. Romantic Initiation Behaviors (RIBs) occur anytime one reaches out to an individual of romantic interest during the early stages of a romantic relationship – whether one knows them or not – with the intention of furthering a romantic relationship offline. An example of a rejected RIB would be receiving a negative response, or no response, from a person of romantic interest after sending a direct message to him or her on social media. An example of an accepted RIB would be receiving a positive response from a person of romantic interest after sending a direct messageto him or her on social media, such as planning to meet face-to-face. In these situations, there is potential for rejection and thus, an outcome of lower self-esteem and depressive feelings, all of which impact one’s assurance when interacting face-to-face after communicating online.

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Lauren Amaro

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Communication Commons