Lack of dating among DU students

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Tinder, a commonly used dating app.

Each generation creates a new dating scene with rules and social norms different from previous generations. Years ago it was common for two people to go on a date and was considered a normal, acceptable activity. In this millennial generation, it’s very rare for people to go on dates, and casual hookups are more common. It’s been argued that today’s college students don’t know how to date. The advancement of technology has impacted this generation by weakening face-to-face interaction skills.

The use of smartphones and social media apps contribute to the dating scene by making people more reachable. Texting has become the biggest platform for college students to communicate through.

Annalise Lejeune, a sophomore at DU, talks about the negatives with this, “We are obligated to always stay in touch, all these rules, and multiple apps, it’s dizzying.” She went on to describe that this generation tends to meet each other, start hooking up, and then gets to know one another; a backwards approach to dating.

However, Ryan Bell, a sophomore at DU, described the positives of technology, “College life is very time-consuming and it can be hard to make time for your significant other, but technology has helped my girlfriend and I to stay connected without the in-person interactions.” He went on to describe how they met at a party fall quarter, and by using texting and other apps were able to develop their relationship.

The constant connection isn’t all great, texting has also led to that regretful drunk text. Juliet Flynn, a sophomore at DU, admits to sending some of these, “There have definitely been some times that I’ve regretted texts and think about how it was much different when my parents were in college.”

Texts like these can lead to stressful situations and possibly jeopardize romantic relationships, adding to the some of the negative effects technology has.

In 2012, the dating app Tinder was released. The app is known as being a platform for casual relationships or hookups, rarely leading to anything serious. Many students admitted to downloading the app to check it out.

Grace Buck, a sophomore at DU, has used the app and said the positives of it include giving her more of a variety of potential suitors. However, even with a large variety, it’s more difficult to create meaningful relationships. Buck went on to discuss the downsides, “It’s definitely more of a negative experience than positive because you’re judging a person solely on their looks.”

One downside of online dating is that people might not be completely truthful about who they are, which then leads to fake relationships. The changes in technology have created this fast paced life making people want things to happen quicker. Students cling on to the casual hookups because they don’t have the patience to wait for the relationships to blossom. People focus on how long it takes them to find a partner, rather than the actual partner.  

This generation’s social media usage is promoted by creating a certain image for the online world in an effort to boost their reputation.

Grant Gravitt, a junior at DU, agreed with this in that, “Since the millennial generation is so caught up in what their “profile” looks like or how many followers they have, reputation gets you laid.”

The high social media usage allows for people to share their relationships online with friends or followers. Kelsey Asevedo, a sophomore at DU, talked about how, “Social media makes people more insecure in their relationships when everyone is liking and judging people online.”

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Sofia Lanzafame, sophomore at DU

This is a common occurrence with social media as Sofia Lanzafame, a sophomore at DU, added, “Social media makes dating hard at first because you’re able to hide behind a screen and judge others.”

The majority of students agreed that DU’s dating life is almost non-existent. In fact, developing feelings is more or less frowned upon.

Asevedo said, “The typical sexual relationship is casual hooking up and then one person gets more attached and then it’s over.”

Students are cautious about their feelings because of the culture on campus. Lanzafame added, “I would definitely say this is a large hookup culture and dating is almost frowned upon, unless you’re a junior or senior.”

Although the casual hookups are more common, students were craving that more traditional dating experience.

Student Lanzafame would like to see dating become more popular instead of the typical judgement online or the random hooking up. Buck also would prefer more of  dating scene where people are more open to friendly communication.

Gravitt was optimistic when he said, “I think that it can be done. Going to a pretty small school, you see people more than once a week. It’s easy to start and keep up with connections.” There may be hope after all for this generation to switch their ways.

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