Dating for the Digital Natives

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As digital natives, teens and young adults utilize social media in all aspects of their lives including their love life. The group that is known for it’s digital savviness has completely changed the culture of dating. Teens and young adults have transformed relationships and dating thanks to their use of social media. Lets take a look at what dating looks like for teens and young adults in the digital age:

Meeting Someone New:

This step in the dating process no longer happens in a face to face scenario; rather a Facebook to Facebook one. People meet online these days and it’s not even weird. More often than not, this age group will spark new conversations through social media platforms before they even have a chance to meet someone in person. There are even platforms available just to do this. You can meet a date on Tinder, meet friends with Bumble BFF, and even meet dogs on others. These chatting apps have replaced the need to meet someone face to face. A feature of social media that makes this process so much different than old fashioned dating is the research that can be done. Before you even decide to say “hey” to someone, you can know their age, where they go to school, what their interests are, what  music they listen too, if they are a dog or cat person, and almost anything else you would like to know.

Getting to Know Each Other:

Again, for this step in the dating process, you don’t need to actually hangout with someone to get to know them. Social media has replaced this as well. You can do everything from texting, sharing pictures, expressing feelings through emojis, and even video chatting. If you think this is impersonal, think again. The possibilities are endless with the different kinds of connection that can be accomplished just through social media alone. You can voice chat by sending recordings of yourself, video chat on Snapchat, get to know each other through Facebook comments, and explore each others interests on Pinterest. This age group is so used to constantly communicating that they will spend all day communicating with someone over social media. There is constant connection happening through all of these different platforms.

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The Relationship:

As time progresses in this dating process, the relationship will stay semi-online. Sure, by this time, the “talking” has turned into dating and there face to face contact instead of just online, but still the social media interaction does not go away. The first official time stamp in a lot of relationships is becoming “Facebook official”. This term has been coined to mean that the relationship has begun. Since social media is such a huge part of this age group’s relationship, it remains constant. There will be pictures of the happy couple on Instagram, Tweets exchanged, Life updates on Facebook, and Snapchat conversations.

It is no secret that this age cohort includes experts of social media so it is only natural for it to show up in every aspect of their lives including their love life. The traditional date is gone (possibly forever) thanks in part to these social media platforms.

Sources:

Lusinski, Natalia. “7 Apps Like Tinder For Meeting Friends, Because The Options Are Endless.” Bustle. Bustle, 04 Aug. 2016. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.

Digital image. Public Domain Pictures. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2017. <http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=136091&picture=man-and-woman&gt;.

Humphreys, Ashlee. “Digital Inequality, Age, and Social Class.” Social Media: Enduring Principles. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2016. 109-29. Print.

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One thought on “Dating for the Digital Natives

  1. Dating apps have been around for a while but they seem to have really become more popular in the last several years especially with Tinder. With an app that was created intentionally for “hook-ups”, I am surprised at what it has turned into. As you discussed, social apps have completely changed the culture of dating. This is still somewhat foreign to me because I can’t see myself being comfortable and someone I have only met online, yet I know people who have built real relationships from these apps. I like how you brought up getting to know one another. You can find out so much about someone without ever meeting them, just by knowing their social media links. But in reality, can you really know a person without ever meeting them? In a way, it can give you a preview of who you are meeting up with and what to expect (assuming their social media is a good reflection of them) which can be comforting. However, it affects ones abilities to make personal relationships and lessens the need to have real social interaction.

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