“Are you dating anyone?” This is a common question, yet it holds so much meaning. As college students, we are in the prime time for getting in relationships. This question is asked by many, especially by family members during the holidays, but when one millennial asks it to another, the response is easier to say. Why? Because “Well, we snap every day and hang out sometimes,” isn’t an answer that our parents would understand. To them, that would mean that you are friends with that person, but to us, it means that you are in the “snapping phase” of a relationship.
You know this phase all too well. It’s what happens when you meet someone at a party or in a class. “Hey, add me on Snapchat,” they say. You may even get butterflies at this request because you know that this means they are interested. This is them letting you know that they have some sort of feelings towards you, and by sending you pictures of dogs and filtered faces, you slowly become something of an item. You’re no longer friends, yet not exactly dating. Often times, you aren’t even in the “talking phase” of the relationship, for talking requires more than the “pizza is bae” snap you get from them. No, talking requires actual communication, with words being exchanged between two individuals, whether it is in person, on the phone or over text.
The “snapping phase” of a relationship is a real thing, and although I don’t understand why this is considered part of dating, I fall victim to it every time. Snapchat has given us a way to stay connected to people far away, people we want to share parts of our lives with, but aren’t able to be there in person with them. The app was created for this reason, as well as to allow people to send fun pictures of themselves doing cool things to their friends who are elsewhere. When did we allow this app to become an essential part of our dating lives? People ask for Snapchat usernames before they ask for numbers. We ask others out on dates through Snapchat, and even make all of the plans through a series of 10 second images.
Why have we allowed ourselves to think that a guy or a girl is worth our time if they can’t even switch apps on their phone to text or call us and ask us out with a real form of communication? When did this become an acceptable way to start a relationship? 10 years from now, you could be married with kids. What will you say when those kids ask you how mommy and daddy met? “Oh, your daddy sent me a picture of his face swapped with his dog and I just fell in love.” No. Snapchat is not an acceptable way to start a relationship. If you want to get to know someone, then ask them questions about their life either in person, on the phone or over text.
I understand that our generation is extremely technology-driven, but that does not give us the excuse to get lazy about how we show someone we care about them. Once you are in a relationship with someone, then it is perfectly acceptable to snap them all day, every day, as long as you are still using some other form of communication as well. Snapchat is a great way to keep in touch with others, but it is not the way to start a relationship. So take off the puppy filter, open your texting app and actually get to know the person on the other end of the conversation.