Has social media and modern technology ruined the dating experience for the younger generation?
Apparently it has.
According to a survey done on 3,000 first-year American university students, today’s “hookup” culture is leaving the Facebook generation romantically handicapped, sexually unfulfilled, unhappy and “confused about intimacy.”
Associate professor at Boston University Donna Freitas has been interviewing thousands of students for a book titled The End of Sex and has made this shocking discovery about the evolution (or regression) of dating brought on by the rise of social media and cell phones in the early 2000s.
“The tyranny of the hookup culture has robbed a generation of intimacy and physical pleasure for both genders,” Freitas said. “Many told me they had meaningless hookups just because they are expected to by friends, so they no longer enjoy sex. Men and women have been habituated against expecting it to be pleasurable.”
In addition to this, most students interviewed have revealed they always have to be drunk, or seem drunk, when “hooking up” so they can walk away without committing. If this generation does go on “dates”, it’s more likely to be a hang out rather than a romantic dinner, mostly because they don’t understand intimacy, and therefore are likely to be afraid of it. “Hang outs” are also usually initiated by a text or Tweet rather than a face-to-face invitation.
In all likeliness, those hangouts involve alcohol, going back to the earlier-discussed issue of needing to be intoxicated to get close to someone, have inhibitions drop and then have meaningless, unsatisfying sex. Sex isn’t just sex anymore for this specific generation – now it’s bad sex, only done while drunk, when neither can get real pleasure out of it.
This has somehow become a much bigger problem than most of us have realized. How did it get so out of hand so quickly?
While some might think I’m a bit too old to be affected by this culture of “kiss and tell but never commit,” at 29, I’m actually the first age group to truly be affected by this, as I was starting university when Facebook took its stranglehold on me and my colleagues. That’s when things began to change and we were the first victims of this social media onslaught.
Of course, sexual hookups have been a notorious part of college life for decades, but social media and cell phones changed the game completely. Suddenly it became completely unnecessary to talk to someone face-to-face when a Facebook message or text would suffice. Rather than asking someone to go for a coffee, you could chat online instead or text back-and-forth, keeping a barrier between you and a possible interest and avoiding intimacy at all costs.
That’s where Freitas explains men have “forgotten” how to ask a girl out on a date, mostly because it’s completely unnecessary.
Dating seems to be dead.
It’s apparently become such a problem that college graduates who are realizing they have this romantic void in their lives are approaching “dating coaches” in order to learn the art of courtship, an art that’s been completely annihilated for this generation. This can cost up to $300 an hour.
This poses the question – how can this generation, and generations to come, revive the art of dating? Is it even possible as social media technology continues to remove the “social” part of interaction?
I hate to imagine how the children of this intimacy-less generation will turn out. Talk about some major up-and-coming problems.
Dating, courtship and romance desperately need to make a comeback.
But is there an app for that?