The Social Media Factor: Endangering Teenage Dating

Basically, the word “bae”, the need to “play it cool” all the time, and social media in general is destroying the idea of teenage dating.

With the modern age of technology, especially social media, fresh internet slangs and the new cools have the ability to spread like wildfires within the power of a single tap. Though it’s often used to share information and keep up with friends, it’s no surprise that this new obsession has some side effects as well. A majority of this generation is practically being raised by technology in these recent years. Social media is quickly replacing busy working parents in teaching young adults how to think and act. Without a doubt, it is also redefining love and relationships for this generation as well.

Snapchat best friends represent the significance of a relationship, and an Instagram like is synonymous with flirting. In a way, the roles social media play in modern teen’s definition of a relationship devalues their worth and worthiness of respect. In a system where getting tagged in a #WCW or #MCM post is as good as it gets, it causes people to think that a simple post on Instagram is all that they deserve, but that is anything but the truth. You are worthy of sweet, heady love. You are worthy of someone who makes you smile after a tiresome day. Someone who won’t let you go to sleep sad or angry. Someone who will read bedtime stories to your children in that silly voice. Someone who is willing to grow old with you and puts his heart into “’till death do us part”. All that social media forces you to see doesn’t define your value nor worth.

If you had scrolled through twitter, instagram, or any other platform this past year, you most likely have seen the word “bae” being tossed around. Beyond being a widely used slang nickname, used to signify something/someone important to you, ‘bae’ is a shortcut used to deal with the idea of a relationship. Rather than labeling the person you’re interested in with a more old-school word like “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”, “bae” creates a lazy way for you to label the person without being too serious in defining the relationship or going through the awkward conversation of discussing your relationship status with your significant other. But please realize that awkwardness is okay, everything is a little awkward at the beginning, but it’s that leap you have to take in order to establish a deeper, more meaningful and stable relationship. While “bae” is an extremely easy label to use, it also creates a not very solid and unstable relationship, because the word was never meant to have a serious undertone.

In addition to “bae”, the idea of “relationship goals” on social media is also a redefining factor for teenage dating. Often associated with pictures of couples performing the ultimate grand romantic gesture and showering each other with luxurious gifts, it creates a more materialistic, and at times unrealistic, idea of what a relationship should be like. The thing is, not all couples are going to be a Kimye replica, spending summer vacation on oceanside in Santorini, have matching Cartier ‘love’ bracelets, or as for the girls, be lavished with Victoria’s Secret gift bags and a thousand roses. I am not saying each of you do not deserve a significant other whom will love and treat you in such way, you do. It’s just that often times, despite what you see the in a highly edited and staged photograph on Twitter, the image might not accurately portray the harsh reality in that relationship. The couple might’ve took out the majority of the money from their bank accounts to purchase that range rover or those matching Cartier bracelet to gain more followers through that picture. Despite what their smiles in the picture says, they might even be having relationship problems behind the scenes, arguing day and night.

With this method of showing off the more materialistic things, social media learned to raise teen’s relationship standards unrealistically high. Chances are, your boyfriend or girlfriend is still in high school just like you, it’s difficult to expect that kind of luxurious gifts from them when they haven’t even graduated and barely even have a job that pays enough to provide themselves. Though of course, a nice dinner here and there or a small jewelry is common, please remember that the materialistic things are not what makes a relationship, a relationship.

Often through social media, the idea of flirting and interest in someone is portrayed in a big joke-like kind of way. We live in an unhealthy collective mindset. In pop culture recently, the idea of  having a “side hoe” is popularized and deemed acceptable, or even admirable. This not only make it seem like it’s okay to be with more than one person, but it also insults the value of the partner. We must realize that hurting another person’s worth doesn’t make you cooler, but rather it just makes you seem a lot more disrespectful.

Some boys, often labeled by western pop culture as “fuckboys”, disrespect girl’s body and them as a person by literally asking for nudes, and seemingly, making almost everything seems to be about sex, and where some girls, quickly label boys with the aforementioned term each time they make a mistake or assume them to be one before they even genuinely know the person, and laughing about it with their friends as an inside joke after. By following one impertinent behavior trend one after another, in the growth of this generation, nothing seems to be private anymore.

It’s time for these toxic behavior to come to an end. Respect other’s body, spirit, and mind. Love with passion, love with loyalty. Do not take them for granted and neglect them as if they are a joke. Only like this, we can learn from others, and become mature as one people.original-15526-1434994324-10 (1)

Fellas, talk to her, actually physically talk to her. Don’t act different around your friends when it comes to her. Show her off. Ask her out on a date to somewhere nice and/or fun rather than inviting her over to “watch netflix and chill”. Pick her up at six, show up on time, dress nice, go up to the front porch, say hi to her parents. Not a text saying “hey im here” still in the car parked along the curb. Open the door for her. Make sure she’s happy.

Girls, don’t expect him to come by with a large bouquet of the finest roses. Go with a sense of optimism rather than the mindset that “even if this works out, we’re gonna break up soon anyways”. Smile a lot. Don’t be too hard on him. Don’t turn your back as soon as he makes a little mistake. Don’t judge too quickly. You can make the move as well, just because he is a guy, doesn’t mean he is obligated to do what society expects him to do, girl power remember? However, you are not obligated to do what makes you uncomfortable. If it all goes well, tell him you had a great time. Don’t play hard to get, because if you are, chances are, he will most likely do so, too.

Best of luck.

All the love.


Photo Credit:

MyDomaine (Image 1)

Buzzfeed (Image 2)

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