Social media’s effect on the college dating scene

Zara DeGroot

The dating scene is a large and hyped-up part of the college experience. However, this generation’s dating culture is drastically different than the last, which could be attributed to the rise of social dating apps. Since the dawn of smartphones, traditional dating has shifted to the back burner as it has become easier to connect through a screen.

A study commissioned by ChristianMingle and JDate found that “mobile technology has changed communication patterns and created myriad expectations and preferences that now define dating etiquette in a mobile age.”

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According to this study, 55 percent of those singles feel their phones make it more accessible to meet and get to know people they are interested in, and 44 percent of men and 37 percent of women find that mobile devices make it easier to flirt and get to know each other.

Apps like Tinder, Grindr, Hot or Not, and even Snapchat, along with social media are what is making these interactions easier. The new “date” is perusing through Facebook profiles, casually messaging with the possibility of meeting up in the future. Learning about a person through what they post on their social media accounts is less threatening than an in-person interaction.

Men, Women, & Children is a movie that portrays this type of social interaction.

“Men, Women, & Children questions how the internet has changed our relationships, communication skills, self-image and love lives,” wrote Nicole Cohen, a local representative for Paramount Pictures, in an email to the Collegian.

Cohen herself has experienced the change in modern dating.

“I have found friends who explored Tinder, went on dates from meeting people on Tinder, and who even found love just from a simple app that denies or accepts people from a profile picture,” Cohen wrote.

Despite the popularity of this informal dating culture, there are people out there who are opposed to it.

Justin Olson, a freshman history major, dislikes how these apps are changing the way in which people are getting to know one another, although he does think the use of phones and social media makes is easier to stay in touch.

“I had a Tinder for three days, and I used it once,” Olson said. “Maybe it was the way I was raised or something, but I don’t like it. It promotes a hook-up culture and I’m not into that.”

Aaron Hart, a junior history major, said that our generation is confused between “dating” and “hooking up.”

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“It objectifies,” Hart said of dating apps. “Our parents didn’t have the use of social media. You dated to marry. I’d much rather sit down and talk to a person.”

Collegian Reporter Zara DeGroot can be reached at news@collegian.com or @Zaradegroot.