By Heather Campbell
The dating scene among us youth has seen a serious shift. Gone are the John Hughes days of throwing rocks at windows while blasting music from a boombox on a lawn mower as the use of technology and casual interactions take centre stage in modern courtship.
Before the purpose of dating in high school was to explore relationships and the different types of people and qualities you may be interested in when entering a serious relationship. While it is still very much about exploring options, dating has become a whole lot more casual, and a whole lot more complex.
With the use of social media such as Facebook, teenagers are entering more and more short-term casual relationships, which as led to the creation of the new term: “Facebook official.” It’s not official till it’s Facebook official.
In a nutshell, texting and Facebook has created a stress-free way of getting to know potential new partners.
Instead of given the eyes and batting your lashes, all you have do do now is like a photo or add a winky face in the comment box to flirt with someone 😉 Not to mention you can also find out all about a person, who they interact with, and their entire Facebook past with just a click of a button. Some call it investigating, others call it stalking, but you can’t hide anything from anyone now.
The use of texting and instant messaging also allows for teenagers to keep interactig with each other beyond curfew. You can still tell your sweetheart about every little thing you are doing or thinking no matter what time it is, even if it is 2 in the morning and the person is trying to sleep!
While the casual attitude towards relationships make them easier to manage, with technology these days, you rarely have an excuse not to respond your current significant other, and vice versa. On the other hand my biggest pet peeve is when you send a message to someone and they take ages to reply back. It’s worse when they start the conversation and then leave you hanging midway.
Not only has technology helped people to come together, but it also helps to break people up. Current relationship just not working? Now problem! Just send your soon to-be ex a quick text and change your relationship status and your good to go!
**Warning: may cause emotional damage and can result in angry messages by ex and their friends. Users discretion advised.**
Now, when entering a relationship with someone, you are no longer just entering a relationship with that person, but all their digital networks as well. It’s all quite overwhelming.
I have a problem with modern dating. I can’t help but feel high school relationships are a lot of fuss for nothing. As a high school senior, I’ve been so overwhelmed with classes, university applications, and extracurricular activities, I can’t see how fussing over someone else is fun and worth the time; I think it just adds to the stress.
And while sites such as Facebook, allow us to share precious moments with our current partner, it also means we are sharing it with everyone else we are connected with too. Perhaps this has contributed to the increasingly casual attitude towards relationships. You are sharing your relationship with everyone digitally, you might as well share it will everyone else as well.
Another vexation I have is how unpersonal technology makes it all. It bothers me when people are more than happy to talk to you via the digital devices but wont go up an talk to you in person. Mind you, I’m totally guilty of this too and it’s silly.
Often times the term ‘date; and just ‘hanging out’ can be virtually interchangeable. High school relationships are just about having fun and enjoying the company of each other, for the timebeing. The casual attitude and use of digital mediums has allowed teenagers to explore relationships in a carefree way. In a way, modern dating is a lot more like just hanging out with friends, just with a little more exclusive flirting.
Even though relationships have become more causal, there is still the obligation to the other person, which is another reason it all leaves me cringing. I don’t know about other people, bit I find myself to be a handful without having to worry about another.
Oh, and Happy Valentines Day.