Landing a date used to require a phone call. Maybe even a letter. Fast forward 40 years and kids are strategically liking photos on social media just to get someone’s attention.
Thanks to the internet, the dating paradigm has changed completely. Dialing a phone number has turned into data usage and direct messaging.
Why does it matter? Who cares? It matters because to date someone, kids think they need social media to put themselves out there. Yet on the other hand, parents say kids need to get off their phone. So who has it right?
The teenage generation does not want to admit how much influence social media has on their dating decisions. They are in denial of the modern social scene but no one can refute that Instagram is the sorting hat of dating.
Looks. Religion. Occupation. Education. Social media bares all. No one is safe. So if he liked your photo, it must mean he is into you…right? Receiving likes on a photo is a euphoric feeling that may be unfathomable to the baby boomer generation, yet it means the world to a high school student.
“If you were into someone, you would go and like one of their old photos from like 100 weeks ago, then that says you have kind of stalked them,” said Pleasant Grove High School student Brooke Buckley. “He then hopefully adds you back and that is when you know that he is kind of into you.”
Flirting has now taken a whole new form, who knew a single tap could mean so much? That casual face to face flirting has turned into a simple scroll and touch of a screen. So if a guy wants to ask a girl out, how should he do it?
“You flirt on Instagram, talk on Twitter, talk more on Snapchat and that is when you know you are a thing. Calling doesn’t happen and you text if you are dating,” continued Buckley. “It makes me sad because boys don’t ask us out on dates, most cannot even talk in person.”
Social media has created this alter identity where kids do not have to converse with other humans. It is a lot easier to come off as confident when you can hide behind your twitter handle. No one has to take responsibility for their words and it has created a huge communication gap.
“People have an easier time picking out an emoticon to display the emotion they are feeling rather than actually showing it on their face,” said body language expert Blake Eastman on cnn.com.
Social media has created our reactions for us. Instead of actually addressing inner emotions, the emoji keyboard is the one stop shop for letting others know how you feel.
The internet has provided answers for almost everything in daily life. A way to talk to people, express our emotion, and even locate where friends are. So why do kids not feel the responsibility to change their behavior? What is the appeal to living life this way?
It is because “a computer does not require cognitive or emotional involvement, making out interaction with it much easier,” said in a recent article on TheNextWeb.com.
Kids can be whoever they want. Social media outlets have created a different way for kids to get to know each other which does not require them to actually express themselves. People do not need to invest true feelings when they communicate on the internet and that is public enemy number one.
In a way, teenagers do not know any different. They think the only way to get to know someone is first through social media. However, is it considered a bad thing? The dating app called Tinder has often times led to marriage so can it really be that big of a problem? According to must kids, there’s nothing wrong, but the adults…well it is a whole new story.
Kate, public relations major, quesadilla maker and aspiring world traveler. She hates the cold but loves to ski and can’t deny a deep conversation with a stranger.