With technology quickly progressing in complexity and social media spiking in popularity, it’s easy to find new ways to meet people. Your new best friend or even your significant other could be on new dating app technologies. But think about this for a second: how have apps such as Tinder, OkCupid or Grindr affected your “dating strategy”? Have you found yourself spending more time at home on your phone rather than going out? From personal experience, it has caused me to withdraw from my extroverted personality and hide behind my screen, especially in the dating scene.
As millennials, we have slowly turned to other alternatives when it comes to finding “the one.” Whether it be swiping right or liking your crush’s tweets three days in a row. It lacks an actual emotional connection. What ever happened to accidentally bumping into someone at the coffee shop and catching a glimpse of their smile and thinking, “Wow, they’re attractive.” It seems the tables have turned and ruined the exceptions from a first date. We put more meaning into the string of emojis you receive from your “bae” rather than the actual person.
Dating in college is especially hard; dealing with various personalities and narrowing down who strikes your interest is harder than making an A in that one really difficult elective. Thats where the dating apps come into effect. Thousands of potential significant others are at your fingertips. In some cases, people are looking for temporary company or just a short-term fling, which in turn takes out the possibility of establishing an actual connection. Instead of getting ready for a night out filled with mingling and new connections, you prepare yourself for your next profile picture to put on Tinder. Instead of cleaning your apartment for the sake of cleanliness, you do it because you finally scored a one night-stand for the evening.
Something else influenced by the hook-up culture is the expectations you lay out for your potential boyfriend/girlfriend. We have this preconceived idea that our significant other will fit exactly the standards what we dream about. For instance, on Tinder you swipe left on people who appear to be sub-par or just down right unattractive. What about the common interests? Have you ever glimpsed at those? The phrase “There’s more to a person than just looks” becomes irrelevant when all you’re looking for is a 10/10, blue-eyed blondie that’s above 6 ft. and has washboard abs. Who cares if he’s an asshole? Who cares if he’ll drop you after your “date” at the bar? For whatever reason, we start to set ourselves up with people solely for the attention. The mind set of “Oh, there’s someone better out there” becomes more prominent. When this happens, it harms the well-being of others.
Another thing to touch on is communication within our generation. For whatever reason, an unwritten rule has come into play: ignoring each other and using the “I don’t text first” excuse has slowly started to establish a negative connotation. It feels as though it’s some power trip tactic. If you’re the one to text first, it’s presumed throughout the entire conversation that you are “thirsty” or “more into it” than the other person. It’s weird to think about, but most people do it obliviously. In an article by Allie Bukatman from Elite Daily, Bukatman says, “This stems directly from the “whoever cares less wins” dynamic, as well. We too often forget that while we struggle for the power, we disrespect each other.” We’re too caught up in ourselves that we don’t have time to think about others.
Tying this all together, hook-up culture has definitely tarnished the true beauty of an actual, fully committed relationship. We’ve diminished the fun in going out and meeting new personalities. We are lost in the maze that we created, the puzzle to find someone who holds sentimental value in our hearts. So I leave you with this question: what are you missing out on? In that split second of your eyes drifted to your Tinder notifications, what opportunities just floated away? Life is too short to live in a digital world.
Photo by Emily Berger