“He’s cute…let me stalk him first”

Has social media completed changed what the word “dating” means?

The label “dating” was used when you went on a few dates with someone and you were seen walking around holding hands. Now dating consists of constantly texting and appearing in the significant other’s Instagram page. How come the first in-person interaction with someone is not actually the first time we get to know them. How did infidelity change from meeting up with someone else, to secret snap chat conversation that got deleted after 4 seconds. And how come when the breakup of the so called “couple” finally happens, they never truly disappear from your lives.

Getting Together

Swipe Right

Slide into her DMs

Snap her

Text him

Facebook Message her

Our generation has moved from telling someone you like them and asking them on a date, to hiding behind a screen and making awkward small talk until someone finally says they are interested. There are so many ways to be in contact that this adds an even bigger level of difficulty to start the process. What if they send the cat eye emoji: 😻instead of this emoji:😍…does that mean that they like you but aren’t ready to commit? And what if he sends a 4 seconds snap that says “ lets hang out”, do you take it seriously or do you brush it off because they didn’t have the courage to write it in a text. The whole process of “liking someone” is just so much more twisted because we cant always decipher what is meant in these subtle hints.

Not only does social media take away the true meaning of dating, it also takes away part of the fun. Instead of going on dates and getting to know someone, we automatically Facebook stalk someone we think is cute and learn everything about them. If we are lucky they look better than their profile picture.

giphy

We can know what music that they like and where they went over the weekend and by the time we are done stalking we pretty much decided if they are still worth pursuing. When you finally start talking and going on dates there is no need to “get to know each other” because we know the base information. And then it just become awkward when you know their dog’s name when they didn’t even tell you had a dog (has no one els experienced this.. awkward.)

Cheating:

Physical Cheating

Emotional Cheating

Cyber Cheating

Cyber Cheating is officially its on category of cheating nowadays. What constitutes as cheating now? Liking a photo on Instagram, snap chatting someone inappropriately, or just plain texting someone you shouldn’t be. There are so many ways for infidelity to occur that it seems like its almost unavoidable. That theory may just be a pessimistic college senior talking- but it seems that cheating occurs more just because its so much easier to get away with it – the snap chats go away after a few seconds and the text conversations can be deleted. Its even hard to label this type of cheating because what if the partner has never even physically met up with the other person. Would that mean its an emotional affair then? Would it just be easier if they had a physical affair that way it was easier to handle? Is that the main problem- our generation likes things to be quicker and easier and that is why we rely so heavily on social media… but I digress.

Breaking-Up

You just broke up with someone (whether it was from cyber cheating or not) and you want to avoid them at all costs and just get them out of sight, out of mind. But OH WAIT you follow them and their friends on every form of social media. You still get to see what they are having for dinner, what bar they are going to, and how they are taking the break up. Even if you try blocking your ex… there are so many more reminders and temptations to stalk them or their friends/relatives. Before social media we would have been able to break up and avoid the person at all costs and get over them peacefully. But now it becomes a race to get over faster and if the other person finds someone new first, it’s the worst thing in the world. You stalk your ex’s new girlfriend, then you somehow end up stalking your ex’s girlfriend’s brother.

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A lot of the issues with dating in this generation are definitely from the choices we make because a lot of the struggles can be avoided but it just becomes so easy to text instead of talk in person, or send a racy snap chat, and even stay hung up on your ex. Removing ourselves from our phones and social media is easier said than done, but sometimes when we accidentally like someone’s Instagram from 104 weeks back and justify it as flirting…it may be time to put the phone down.

9 comments

  1. CarbNatalie · ·

    I think it was really interesting how you talked about the different ‘methods’ of cheating that have been brought into play based on social platforms. It really does broaden the horizon of what can be considered cheating and how that affects a relationship. I think that this also talks to the affects that these new forms of cheating much like social platforms’ role have on mental health.

  2. Social media has definitely changed the process of meeting and dating someone. I liked that fact that you addressed the difficulty in getting that person or your ex out of your life because of SM. I feel as though for some people social media has provided them a way to cling onto their past, which I don’t think is good. People often have trouble moving on and look back at their ex’s pictures, and this just hinder’s their ability to search and meet other people, unless they are really able to get this person out of their “social media minds.” Again, this is something that is not always easy to do as we are afraid of feeling regret in doing this, and there is always that sense of curiosity. After unfriending someone, most likely you won’t become friends again, and so we find it difficult to do so.

  3. laurenmsantilli · ·

    I agree with Natalie – I liked the segment on cyber cheating. It’s so interesting to hear how many small things like a “like” on Instagram can literally destroy a relationship and create trust issues. Remember back to when Snapchat showed best friends? There was definitely a reason for them removing that feature. It’s hard to see a friend get so upset over a boy they like not liking their Instagram but being able to see on the “following” section who else’s photos they like – which is a whole other topic to get into. Great post!

  4. dcardito13 · ·

    I feel that everyone has experienced this exact situation, whether it be you yourself or one of your friends. It’s funny because even though this happens thousands of times a day, I never really sat back and thought about how much the dating scene has been impacted by social media until you pointed it out. Based on my own preferences, I think a relationship that can avoid social media is just an overall healthier one. But is this even possible anymore? Unfortunately I think almost all relationships get sucked into the black hole of social media now.

  5. Great post! Raises some very important issues. And I agree that social media can definitely complicate things in a relationship and out of it. I also agree with Danielle that avoiding SM can be step in a healthier direction, but it also depends on personalities of the people involved too. I feel like in this day and age of blurred relationship lines appearing on each other’s social media is considered a pretty big step towards making things “Facebook-official”. I personally prefer not to be very public with my relationship, but it is no secret either. On the other hand, I have friends who are more open about it. I even have two friends (a couple) where one person is extremely into SM, and the other is not – and they are both happy with the setup and the relationship. And I also think that it matters a little less once you get older (disclaimer: me and the friends brought up as an example are 25 and older) – it is about the relationship itself, and social media won’t really impact it in any way if it’s a healthy one.

  6. lenskubal · ·

    Great post! For those who have struggled to meet a life partner or somebody they care about, social media and dating sites can be great. However, social media has changed the way dating works. It has even changed our ability to meet up or interact informally. In my opinion, social media has made people more shallow, less interactive, and less invested in others. Relying on social media teaches people to be less interactive on so many levels. When something goes wrong, we go right to social media to express our opinions. This is so natural for us because it is all we know. Dating in the age of social media can develop relationships that are weaker than couples think. Posting pictures of each other, or being best friends on snapchat does not create a strong bond between two people. Action and sacrifices are being replaced with tweets and instagrams that attempt to show love for each other. It’s a recipe for disaster. There are benefits of social media that can make dating special, but extracting those benefits requires a lot of understanding and willingness to still do the things that your partner truly appreciates.

  7. Nice post. I do think that students these days tend to have a nostalgic view of what “dating” used to be like. Certainly I went on dates after college, but during college…not so much. I do think social media is changing the way people relate (in romantic relationships as well). What constitutes “cheating” likely varies from couple to couple – no two relationships are the same. SM does create more opportunities, though, just for ease of access.

  8. alexisteixeiraa · ·

    Great points on all accounts. Social media and the ability to stalk/search not just potential relationships, but also new friends is an interesting and scary aspect of the web. I have found myself searching my own name just to see what comes up. It is really important to maintain your brand not just on social media, but on the general web because unfortunately in this day in age it is a sad reality that people can’t help themselves but look at what kinds of pictures they post and what previous jobs they’ve had on LinkedIn. Across the board really great commentary!

  9. jordanpanza29 · ·

    I liked this post a lot! It reminded me of an article I read this week about a new dating app that makes you have to call the other person first. I think it is a lot easier to hide behind a screen such as Facebook or Tinder but having to call someone adds another level of intimacy. I think this app is trying to bring it back to the days where you actually talk to someone before dating them. I’m not sure it will work out as when you are messaging, you can be sitting their with 5 other friends having them craft your message for you; you can’t really do that when you are on the phone!

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