A recent article posted by Vanity Fair in September 2015 entitled “Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse’” reported that young people, ages 18-30, are using dating and social media apps to find partners.
It is hard to deny that social media and technology have made our everyday lives easier than ever before, but there are still doubts to whether an internet profile with a dashing picture of someone can be a substitute for their personality. Can dating websites and text messages convey not only human intimacy, but charisma, intelligence, integrity, individual beauty and unique mannerisms?
Vanity Fair would implore readers to believe the aforementioned notions be left to the hopeless romantics of days of yore, not 21st century realists.
However, out of the 34 students interviewed at NCC, the consensus is that traditional means of meeting people and dating outweighs today’s technological alternatives. With a few exceptions, most of those interviewed prefer meeting people face to face, as opposed to first meeting them online using social media outlets such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Tumblr.
However, Kathy Hinds, a second year sociology major, says, “It may sound kind of crazy, but I prefer online. Well, it’s both sided, I like both. Online takes away the nervousness and awkwardness, but in person you see everything up front.” First year Electrical Construction Technology student, Devin Thompson, agrees stating, “Online it’s less stressful,” but likes to eventually meet in person.
This still omits the question of hooking up. Sex is difficult to escape it in today’s world. Everything from cologne to clothing to food is sexualized. Do today’s dating apps like Tinder, and its predecessor Grinder, make the cut when it comes to hooking up?
According to NCC students who met people in person they had first met online, the answer is no. Carlos Gordon, a first year Culinary Arts major, says he has had multiple occasions where he has met up with someone to hook up, but it never works out, and is always awkward. He went on to say, “Because I met you on this dating app, [it] makes me wonder about who you are as a person. It makes you not boyfriend material.”
When asked the same question, Calvin Hunter, a first year Radio and TV major, answered, “Yeah I have, and will I do it again? No, never!”
When it comes to hooking up in person, William Feliciano, a second year CIT: Networking major, said: “I would rather hook up in person. You just have that connection between the two. There’s nothing like it in my opinion, just seeing the beauty in their eyes; just seeing the excitement. It’s not something that can be written in words on a screen. It’s something that you feel, in person.”
Picture this: a singles bar, it is dark, but not too dark. It is the afternoon, and those who just got off work are looking to grab a drink with friends and find a cute guy or girl to take home with them for the night. The music plays loud enough just to enter your ear and soothe you.
The majority of people are sitting with their friends; drink in one hand, phone in the other. They are Tindering, Happning, Hingeing, and OkCupiding one another without holding an actual conversation with their potential partner until it is time for them to leave together.
They “swipe” aesthetically unpleasing profiles to the side like digital garbage until they find one that catches their eye. Once their interest is piqued, the exchange of texts begins. These messages are written with the utmost respect and decorum. According to the Vanity Fair article, a young woman named Ashley, age 19, said, “They’ll tell you, ‘Come over and sit on my face.’”
After reading such an article, it is hard to believe that intimacy, romance, and traditional forms of meeting partners and dating still exist. Despite this, it seems that Vanity Fair’s findings are not comparable to social life at Northampton Community College.
So go ahead, walk up to the girl or guy of your fancy and ask for their number, buy a bouquet of roses and a box of chocolates, change your outfit two or ten times before your date and feel free check out your hair every few minutes in the mirror. Let the butterflies churn your stomach and enjoy the company of another, because chances are your date will thank you.