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The Arrowhead

The Arrowhead

The Student News Site of Souderton Area High School

The Arrowhead

The Student News Site of Souderton Area High School

The Arrowhead

The Arrowhead

Social media adds complexity to dating

Due to our everyday use and communication via social media, it is common that the online world plays a substantial role in the dating lives of younger generations. The social media apps we frequent influence how we interact with each other in all kinds of relationships.

While teenagers may not be on dating apps or looking for their forever life partner, talking stages or relationships at their core typically start at the tap of a button on different social media platforms.
Whether it be a follow on Instagram or a snap on Snapchat, many people rely on these digital interactions to start talking to one another.
Before social media became so prevalent in our society, people had to rely on in-person, face-to-face interactions with the people that they liked or were interested in.
We see these concepts in movies such as “Flipped,” “10 Things I Hate About You” and “The Princess Diaries” where grand gestures are made and deep conversations are held between couples in real life, not through a screen.
We can see the influence of texting and IMing online in movies that were released in the later 2000s, such as in “A Cinderella Story,” starring Hillary Duff, during the early stages of social media.
In this movie, Duff doesn’t meet the boy she had been texting until near the end of the movie when they finally see each other face to face.
Although this does not represent our modern social media platforms of today, it was only the beginning of a dating style that would become the new norm.
According to Bitescience.com, “A study in Computers in Human Behavior shows that social media have both beneficial and adverse consequences for the way in which teens initiate, maintain, and end their romantic relationships.”
This study explains that using social media to initiate a relationship can definitely have its benefits.
It allows teens to find “information” about someone to get to know them and start talking to them.
However, social media and its unrealistic standards may create expectations that partners feel they need to uphold or even cultivate jealousy between one another.
Therefore, is it possible that social media may be helping and hurting relationships simultaneously?
While Snapchat allows for easy communication between a couple, it also allows for easy communication between partners and people outside of their relationship, which isn’t always a good thing.
This can facilitate cheating and jealousy within a relationship, which can cause break ups or cracks in a couple’s foundation.
On the other hand, while Instagram gives teenagers a platform to post their significant others and let their followers see their seemingly perfect relationship, it doesn’t showcase any of the hardships that they may be going through.
This gives way to other people in relationships comparing theirs to someone else’s.
While texting allows people to get to know each other and initiate meaningful conversations, it lacks the in person interaction that forces people to talk face to face and really listen to what each person has to say.
Of course, we have FaceTime, but is it really the same?
Is there truly a difference between getting to know someone through a screen versus within a three foot proximity of each other?
No one may know for sure, but if we reflect on any of the relationships in our lives, romantic or not, the memories that stand out are those that were created with in person with each other where we can really see a person for who they are.
Social media is the most prevalent way to communicate in today’s society and there is no doubt about that.
When we see someone we like, we Snapchat them and try to talk to them because that is what is normal today.
While this is helpful, there is also nothing wrong with referencing those “old fashioned” romances of grand gestures and getting to know each other face to face.
Next time you’re interested in someone, ditch the Snapchat and take a page out of Patrick Verona’s book and sing “I Love You Baby” at the top of your lungs.

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About the Contributor
Lauren Fisher, Social Media Editor

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