You’ve Got Mail: The Age of Dating through Social Media and Why it Should Stop



It’s the age old story. Boy meets girl. They talk all night. Then he asks for her number……so he can add you on Snapchat, of course!

Does this sound familiar? Have you spent days trying to plan the perfect selfie or funny video to capture the heart of that *special* someone? After this chain of events, maybe they’ll start to like your pictures on Instagram and Facebook; suddenly, you’ve found the one. They’re texting you in the morning, they no longer wait 20-30 minutes to respond back, because you don’t have to play hard to get anymore. It’s love. Or maybe things take a turn for the worse. You’ll open up your Snapchat with anticipation, only to find they’ve opened it and haven’t responded and you’ll start to question where you went wrong or why didn’t you take the road of “Hard-to-Get.” After an opened Snapchat, it’s all downhill from there. Potential relationship diminished.

I’m sure that while you’re reading this, you hear a bell of truth ringing louder than you would like, but also you’re (hopefully) laughing because this sounds insane! Yet while I’ve fluffed up the dramatics to describe the situation, how sad is it that we’ve let this become the standard for judging whether or not someone is interested in dating us?

Awhile back, I was talking with one of my friends about a guy that I had a connection with, but how it didn’t make sense because we didn’t text or talk over social media. In a panic, I asked my friend, “Isn’t this weird? We don’t text or Snapchat.” He laughed in my face and said, “well I’d say it’s a good thing because relationships don’t start that way.” Suddenly, I realized how ridiculous I had been. Or how ridiculous we’ve all been for holding social media to such high esteem.

When you think about why you start to like someone, I can imagine we’d all say that we like them for their personality, how they make us feel, the personal connection or conversation. While I will not deny that looks are important and attraction is necessary in order to even find a connection, sending a snapchat with the right lighting shouldn’t make or break a relationship. In fact, it doesn’t at all. Putting on your best face might work for a few weeks, but in reality, being in a serious relationship is way more than that. If marriage is the ultimate goal of dating anyways, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’re going to see you at your worst.

This isn’t to say that when you start dating you should let it all hang out, but I am suggesting that we be more honest about who we are and that means taking a step back from taking the “perfect selfie” or sending the wittiest text. We’ve all become so reliant on social media that we’ve used it as a way to determine whether or not the relationship is going to work out before its even begun.

Therefore, I suggest we try and take a step back from the obsession with social media and how we use it to connect with other people. I love sending funny pictures or videos to my friends, or using texts to catch up if we don’t have time to talk on the phone. But whenever I’ve found that I get too attached or distracted by it, I try to detach myself from it. Sometimes, I delete Snapchat off my phone for a week. Other times, I put my phone on airplane mode after 9 pm or when I’m supposed to be studying.

Ultimately, I want us all to be able to enjoy life and experience getting to know people firsthand. I’ve found the relationships that don’t rely on how often someone texts you, answers your Snapchat, or likes your picture on Instagram are the most lasting. While I haven’t found the love of my life, I’d like to think that our relationship won’t spark because he decides to snapchat me pictures every hour on the hour or sends me a good morning text.

So let’s do ourselves a favor. Put down the phone, stop making the duck face and enjoy the company around you. In my opinion, life’s better spent with real people rather than looking through the lens of a Snapchat filter.


Flickr/Global Panorama

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