Decline in traditional dating is due to the increased usage of social media

Reni De Le Nuez - Staff Writer, Photo courtesy of Google Images

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Finding a high school student without at least one social media profile is incredibly rare. In fact, many teenagers have accounts on multiple sites, each one serving as a “connection” to others, though these Internet friendships ironically lack legitimate relations. The prevalence of social media amongst young people is changing the way they form relationships, ultimately resulting in the end of the genuine dating culture. Social media has created ridiculous expectations for couples, resulting in a population that is less focused on dating one person and more focused on appealing to many people.

Twenty years ago, the only friends a student likely had were those that he or she went to school with and saw on a daily basis. Today, however, one can search the name of a user anywhere in the world and instantly initiate a conversation. In a relative area, such as the west valley, almost everyone has seen everyone else’s media profile. Whether they have actually met each other in person or not, a conversation between two strangers via text is considered normal. Nevertheless, meeting a prospective partner online is completely different than meeting someone in person, and the reality is that online “friends” really do not know each other at all.

“People can be completely different over text than in real life,” said sophomore Rachel O’ Toole. “I do not feel more comfortable talking over social media because in person everything is more genuine.”

Even those who have successfully managed to establish relationships cannot escape the interference of the Internet in their daily lives. The tag “relationship goals” references extreme ideal dates or scenarios, such as camping under the stars, swimming in crystal clear waters on private beaches and excessive amounts of bouquets and jewelry, all of which are somewhat unrealistic for teenagers. This not only makes one partner feel pressure to please his or her significant other, but also puts pressure on him or her from the outside world, which expects proof of an ideal relationship. With the increased usage of social media, a relationship is no longer between two people, but rather between two partners and all of the followers they have to impress.

As there is now a lack of privacy surrounding relationships, there is no surprise that many young adults would rather avoid the commitment. Forming emotional bonds with people is a key aspect of growing up, and social media makes this almost impossible. Rather than relying on chemistry and developing feelings through personality, teenagers are more likely to judge someone based on their appearance in his or her online photos. Applications like Tinder base connections solely on photographs, and people often upload digitally edited photos that enhance their features but lack honesty.

Although couples boast of their happy relationships on social media sites, this is not always the case, and much of today’s youth find themselves disappointed when they realize a relationship is not simply posed pictures and romantic gestures. The interference of social media is the reason that strong, in-person connections, trust, privacy and commitment are losing importance, and this is to blame for the likely failure of modern relationships.

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