Dating in the technological age

Don’t let others tell you what counts as a date

Anna Jaskiewicz, Op/Ed Editor

With Valentine’s Day approaching, it might be a good time to try and answer a question that seems to keep popping up: Is dating a thing of the past? Obviously, many of us have romantic partners to whom we are committed but whom we aren’t engaged or married to. 

Therefore, if we describe dating to be synonymous with courting, I would have to argue that no, dating/courting people is just as prominent today, if not more popular, than it was in the past. 

Especially since present day privileges allow us to date whomever we want from any socioeconomic class. So if I want to date a deadbeat who only wants me for my $11/hour part-time job money, I damn well can.

That being said, I think the present-day idea of “going on a date” has changed significantly since Grandpa’s time on the dating scene. We’ve all heard of “Netflix and Chill” and many of us have been on dates that would fall under that category. I’ve had my fair share of “Netflix and Chills” and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that kind of date. 

It’s truly one of the best kind of dates for someone like myself who always seems to be bopping around from class, to work, to activities, etc. Getting a chance to pull on a pair of cozy sweatpants, eating a huge bowl of popcorn, and cuddling up next to your partner while you watch a show or movie together is without a doubt a great way to relax. 

But I believe people, those typically of the older generations, are quick to judge this type of date by saying, “Kids these days never go out and do anything together. How do they even get to know one another?” I think these are fair and valid questions because as an outsider looking in all you see is two people eating snacks and watching TV together. 

No one can deny that the use of screens and technology continuously infiltrate almost every aspect of our daily lives, so why would anyone believe that our dating lives would have any kind of resistance to those technological distractions? Though I don’t always like technology and most of the time social media makes me want to gouge my eyes out, I can’t deny that much of today’s dating scene seems to rely on these tools. 

I know a lot of people who have successful relationships and marriages with people who they’ve met on the internet, so I don’t think it’s fair to say that technology and screens are ruining the dating scene, they have just significantly altered the game. 

To get back to our discussion regarding “Netflix and Chill”, I would argue that it’s just as much of a bonding activity as any other kind of date. I think I’ve deduced more about my partner’s opinions and feelings about a large variety of topics by talking to him about fictional TV shows/movie characters and events than I ever would if we just went for classical strolls in the park all the time. 

The bottom line is we shouldn’t be judging other people for how they choose to bond with their partners or how they get to know a new lover. As long as both parties are having fun and enjoying each other’s company then I’d call that a successful date. 

Anna is a senior English major and is the Op/Ed Editor for The Voice.