It was a time when holding hands meant you were “going steady,” curfews were actually enforced and skirts were below the knee. High school proms kept the lights on and fathers had to meet the boy before their daughter walked out the door. It’s a dating scene that most teenagers think exists only in movies, but to some, it was their reality.
Most adults grew up in an era where boys had to call from a landline to ask a girl out. Texting or tweeting was simply not an option.
“People would call me on the phone at my apartment or leave me a note. We used to have phonebooks, real hard copy phonebooks,” said Anita O’Hara, mother of two teenage daughters. “Kids these days don’t know how to have real conversation, the way that people ask people out on dates is through texting, they don’t know how to communicate one on one.”
Adults view technology as a way to avoid real conversations. They think that normal human interaction has been replaced with kids who do not know how to express themselves.
Friends can be reached at any time so there is no value to sitting down and writing someone a note. Instead of expressing true emotion on pen and paper, heart felt notes have been replaced by writing space that only allows 140 characters.
“A phone creates a mask for you to hide behind. No one is willing to sit and write a letter because then they have to be vulnerable and in a long term relationship you have to be vulnerable,” explained 35-year-old mother Heidi Allen. “Young people these days do not know how to communicate, in a group setting or one on one.”
Social interaction, happens all day every day. Yet, it is not unusual to observe people sitting in a restaurant with their phones in hand. They need to know what is going on every second of every day.
Texting someone back takes precedent before answering a real question in person. Sure, technology has made life a lot more efficient, but it also has consumed personal life. People know it happens and they let it happen.
There are positives and negatives to both sides. One on end, social media has created a way connect with people all over the world. A simple message is sent to another continent in a matter of seconds. People know what their friends are doing all the time and they know where they are.
On the opposite end, kids just cannot seem to get off their phones. Normal group settings have been replaced with phones in hand at all times. The internet has changed the social game and face to face interaction has been replaced with likes, favorites and retweets.
So who is right? The millennials or baby boomers? Snapchatting or a good old fashion phone call? It does not really matter which side one chooses to take because in the end, both approaches will most likely end with the same product… a first date.
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.