In the midst of our technology-crazed generation, we must ask ourselves: how is this going to affect not only us, but future generations as well? It's obvious that our technology-driven lives are truly affecting how we date each other. Texting, social media, and dating apps like Tinder are changing how our generation views first impressions, trust, physical attraction, and relationships in general.
With smart phones so readily available, it is no question to text your significant other, or even the person you're casually dating, to see what they're up to. However, in our day and age, it is not uncommon to abuse texting as a means of keeping tabs on someone. Imagine what it was like in a simpler time, when a long-distance couple would share a phone call or receive a letter once a week. They would catch up with each other through minimal but appropriate communication, whereas today, we utilize texting to demand to know who someone is hanging out with or where they are at any given moment. Any ounce of trust we could have invested in a person is essentially shattered in a relationship like this. If we didn't check up on people so frequently, we might not find out about every little thing they did last night--but maybe that's okay. If the trust was truly there, the constant obsession with keeping tabs wouldn't be necessary.
Hiding behind the screen of a phone or computer also poses a significant communication problem. Our generation is becoming much too comfortable with confessing their feelings through a lengthy text message rather than telling somebody face-to-face. On the other hand, arguments and even break-ups are also occurring far too often through a cell phone instead of respectfully in person. There is something to be said about a real-life conversation over one that is read from a screen. Text messages can make obviously sarcastic comments appear serious, concerned words seem negative, and the worst part–can be easily screen-shotted. What you text in a break-up with someone may very well be sent out in a large group message and portray you as the bad guy or girl. If it's even remotely heated, it's best to be said in person.
Dating apps like Tinder are another way technology is changing the face of dating. This app is not only capable of creating a false sense of how relationships begin, but can sometimes generate vanity in our generation. Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to completely discredit the app; I know of some very genuine relationships that began with it. But unfortunately, they exist as the minority of Tinder users. Instead of simply asking someone out and seeing how you hit it off, people can easily swipe through a pool of potential candidates and decide who is worthy of their time, solely based upon their looks. It's becoming tougher for our generation to invest time into one person since there are numerous other candidates waiting for them on their phone. With potential hookups existing right in the palm of our hand, it's no wonder romance is fading.
Social media is wonderful on many outlets, but the fact that our whole lives are displayed on the Internet for anyone to see can cause some predetermination issues with dating. Gone are the days when you meet someone on a first date and learn all about them; instead, it's not uncommon to have already stalked them thoroughly online. Not only can this affect a first impression, but it can also ruin the fun of getting to know someone. Not everyone is the way they may appear on social media, and sometimes, online networking sites can unfortunately create an alternate persona of a person before you even get a chance to meet them.
With all this technology at our fingertips, it's inevitable that our interactions with others have changed a bit, and it appears our dating relationships have received a large portion of this change. It seems impossible to retrace our steps back to the “good ole days,” considering technology is constantly increasing and improving. We can only provide direction and teach our future generations what great couples look like, so that happy, face-to-face relationships do not become a thing of the past.