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The evolution of dating: Dating now vs. dating before social media

Make Valentine's Day something special this year by celebrating in a new way. (Handout)

Written by Geneva Crooks, Staff Writer

Have you ever heard your parents go on and on about how much times have changed? Well, although we don’t always want to admit it, they most certainly have.

With all the new technology we’ve welcomed over recent years, dating has gone from an extremely formal thing to something that can easily be done through social media and apps.

When our parents and the generations before them dated, it was very similar to being courted. Boy meets girl, girl likes boy and boy likes girl, and they slowly progress into something more. They’d usually go on a number of dates before knowing how interested they were in someone. For one, there wasn’t any texting. If you wanted to get into contact with someone, you’d have to call them on their house phone. Now when our “hotline blings”, it could be a number of things. We could be getting a text, a phone call or a notification.

Dating can easily progress into different stages a lot quicker, probably because we have tons of ways of talking to each other and getting to know each other faster. Meeting a new person in this day and age can be as simple as following them on Twitter or liking a few pictures on Instagram. When our parents were teens, they couldn’t do much but meet in person or meet through other people. Dating apps have made dating a simple thing that can be done through your phone and computers. The first few stages of getting to know a person and deciding whether or not you’re interested can be as easy as a simple swipe to the left or right. In a few ways, it’s great. In other ways, it creates a huge disconnect between how we act in person and how we act online.

Although dating has become a lot easier for us, there’s a lot about meeting people online that has made dating dangerous. Online, you can be whoever you want to be. We’ve all heard of the term “catfish” by now, and sometimes it can go a bit further than an innocent game of being someone you aren’t in person. People can be dangerous. So while we should enjoy the pleasures of meeting as many people as you want on social networks and dating apps, we should also be extremely cautious.

Remember, although things are different now than how they were 50 years ago, you can still have the dating experience you always dreamed of. Just set your expectations to where you want them to be and refuse to move them.

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