Dating in the Digital Age


Each decade has a staple idea of relationships and how to approach them. It wasn’t until after the 1980s that cellphones became popular, probably due to the influence of the dreamy Zack Morris (of “Saved by the Bell” fame, of course).

But the use of technology in everyday life has seemingly taken over much of life. According to one Internet trend report, people check their phones an average of 150 times per day. Per day!

PHOTO BY TOM BREAM, creative commons

PHOTO BY TOM BREAM, creative commons

A significant amount of time spent on technology is in the pursuit of love, or lust. This includes Instagram stalking, post liking, social media checking, and the such. Hearing of a relationship that didn’t evolve from a text or “friending” someone is almost nonexistent today.

We are a generation concerned with selfie likes and tweet favorites, a generation looking for instant gratification and public confirmation. Are you really in a relationship with someone if it isn’t Facebook official? If you aren’t his #womancrushwednesday every week, then what’s the point?

The point is we need to disconnect so we can learn how to truly connect.

Things as simple as holding a phone conversation or — gasp! — talking face-to-face have become major challenges for many young people. Instead of talking to a partner about one’s problems, people send a paragraph-long text about how much they care. Instead of approaching the boy/girl you find attractive, and telling them how you feel, it’s easier to “like” an Instagram post or to “favorite” a tweet.

An “LOL” or smiley face emoji will not compare to hearing a true, hardy laugh at a witty joke. A text won’t comfort someone the same way a heartfelt hug would. And “I love you” sounds a million times better when said in person.

The only way to save ourselves from an emotionless life of digital relationships is to change the way we approach dating, like a Boston College professor asked her class to do. Push yourselves out of your comfort zone. Take a risk and go up to the girl or guy you’ve been crushing on. Don’t tweet about them using code words. Talk…to…them.

If we don’t make some changes, and soon, human-to-human interaction will become unnecessary altogether. We will become a group of mute, robotic beings who send kissy face emojis when the priest texts the groom “to kiss the bride.”

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