The dating landscape sure has changed a lot. Back in the day, a person might place an ad in the personals part of a newspaper and then would have to wait a week for a timid reply. These days you can scroll right or left on a plethora of unashamedly enhanced photos, reading things like, “No hook-ups, and no dick pics please.” People in the past also had to pick up courage and approach potential dates in bars. These days even the shyest creature can act like a Don Juan within the safety of a dating app. Now we have fewer terrible chat-up lines delivered in smoky enclosures, and more short messages sent to a server somewhere. Does this mean more dating success?
First of all, who are Millennials? They are sometimes called Generation Y, are people born anywhere from the mid-80s until the early 2000s. These are the children who grew up with dubstep, witch-house, neo-punk, and a version of hip-hop with more bling; they watched reality TV and many were impressed by video games with incredible stories and graphics that made gameplay almost real. They had wars on terror, a financial crisis, and they became the first generation to experience as children a hyper-connection due to an explosion of new technologies. You get the picture. It’s these hyper-connections that have made dating for gen z much different than it was for the previous generations.
Now moving on to, who is Gen Z? Generation Z or the zoomers are the people born between the late 1990s to early 2010s. These were the generation that experienced the Internet revolution and more racial and ethnic diversity than the previous generations.
Dating might be easier these days, but that doesn’t equate to more people tying the knot, at least in the USA. Pew Research tells us that over the last quarter of a century fewer people have been getting married. The number of folks getting hitched is a bit less than it was a decade ago. But, quite surprisingly, with the ease of dating, it seems more Americans are now single.
Sociologists tell us that one of the reasons is more people are chasing their careers. Getting married young and getting stuck with kids is hardly the best way to get ahead as a professional or entrepreneur. The younger generation also wants to see the world. We might look at international travel, something for many prior generations wasn’t easy. Perhaps gen z is not getting married so quickly so they can fulfil their traveling dreams.
So, in terms of dating, we might say that work ambitions and adventure are two big reasons gen z are often more single. That’s just one reason for more single people. Gen z, if they so choose, can literally look at hundreds of dating profiles in a matter of hours. One dating therapist said, “It’s a very American idea that choice is freedom, freedom is choice. But it can really cripple you if you have too much choice.” Others have called this a “paradox of choice”, the irony being that in front of you, you have myriad options but because you have so many you get nothing.
“The privilege of choice causes ridiculously high expectations,” writes a critic for Thought Catalogue. Add to that, that some people actually believe their online persona and the edited photo is really them. They are too good to be true, and if they keep this illusion up, they can keep sending messages to others that are doing the same thing. If they stay in this bubble, they can keep getting attention, but if they have to show their true selves the bubble bursts, and the illusion is revealed as a kind of magic trick. Some people prefer to stick with the illusion. On the other hand, we are also told that the hook-up culture is thriving.
Another report says that gen z is having a lot of one-night stands compared to Millennials, but not actually dating. For some people, that picture they sent to a stranger of their phallus was met not with consternation but gratitude. They then get it on, and that’s that, the end; no flowers, no meeting the parents, no walks in the park, just a single night of sweaty carnality. Some writers have said that we are almost living in a “post-dating world.” That’s not to say millennials are not part of this, too, but that it’s been normalized for gen z.
Women often used younger photos of themselves while men lied about what they did for a living. In terms of dating, we can see that this might preclude people from actually meeting. You never had this problem when millennials were dating as youngsters. The same article said another problem when people are not face-to-face is that they can act without manners. “Women should be aware that they probably will receive rude/disgusting messages from horny guys, sexual propositions/requests, dick-pics, and a lot of creepy vibes,” it said, which is something most guys don’t do in public.
Another thing the article pointed out is that even when people do date that met online the relationships on average don’t last as long, as people that met offline. Let’s face it when you fall for someone in real life you see their many traits, you fall for their aura, that something special that you can’t explain. On the other hand, it may take three dates to realize the online persona you fell for is not attractive to you at all. You fell for creation, and when you met, you deluded yourself that this creation was real. It was merely her fiction and your fantasy, and vice versa.
Written by : Anindita Aich