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College Dating: A Digital Disaster

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Photo from Jillian Lacognata

WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ– Digital dating has officially taken over. When was the last time you went to a restaurant and saw a couple having a face-to-face conversation? It seems as if everything needs to be documented in a picture, or interrupted due to a phone call, text, or social media notification.  While having a relationship in college has never been easy, collegiate dating continues to get harder as the dependence on technology persists.
According to an article in Cosmopolitan, Why College Dating is so Messed Up, college-age individuals depend heavily on the immediacy of texts, Gchats, and Instagram to talk to each other. This has produced a generation-wide handicap: a resistance to communicating will fully developed thought and emotions.
“It is so hard communicating via text message. I never know how to interpret the meaning and it is so confusing. Also, I really think social media destroys relationships due to the lack of trust we are putting in our partners,” said Monmouth University senior, Isabella Furmato.
According to a TIME article, How Social Media is Ruining Our Relationships, many relationships have been ruined by one person’s addiction to social media. Dependence on social media can often lead to a connection with a past love or crush, or spending so much time texting your significant other and browsing their news feeds that you run out of things to talk about, thus damaging the quality and frequency of communication.
“I definitely feel that we are more dependent on social media than ever before. It has become so rare to see someone without a cell phone in their hand or a Facebook page up on their laptops. It is almost as if we have forgotten how to communicate face-to-face and, as a communication major, that is extremely disturbing,” said Monmouth University senior, Caitlyn Bahrenburg.
Dependence on social media not only makes it harder to communicate and connect with people ( How can you ask someone on a date if they can’t put down their phone?) but it is also impacting our relationships with our significant others.  According to an article from The Date Report, Digital Doppelgangers: Why Social Media Stalking Never Tells You What You Need to Know, 25 percent of people are looking up their exes online and 75 percent of people Google someone they’re about to go on a first date with.
“We are all guilty of checking in on our crush’s through social media,” stated Bahrenburg.  “Its an anonymous way to get to know your crush, or at least get to know the person they are portraying through their accounts.”  This is a serious problem because we aren’t giving time for the relationship to unfold. Instead, we are dissecting it from the start my doing a background check on a potential partner.  “Social media has changed the dating game, and I’m not sure if it is for the better,” said Bahrenburg.
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Photo from Jillian Lacognata.


We are all addicted to our phones, and it is time for a digital detoxification!

Step 1: No texting for 1 week.

Step 2: No social media for 1 week.

Step 3: Have real conversations with people in person or over the phone.

Step 4: Reflect on all of the things you missed because you were focused on everyone else instead of yourself.

Once this is completed, you will be able to reassess your current situation and relationship. If you are that uneasy and still can’t trust your partner, then maybe it is time to get out of the relationship.
We cannot let the digital era ruin our lives. So many great moments are missed because of our detachment from the real world. Now sit back, relax, and put down your phone!