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How social media has evolved dating etiquette: for better and for worse

Dating in 2019 is completely different to dating in previous decades. Social media is now a huge factor on how we form relationships. Even if the thought of Tinder makes you dry retch, it’s undeniable that dating apps have grown to define the dating sphere. This article will examine the roots (pun intended) of how social media has pushed us to date in new (and exciting?) ways.

Before the date, we stalk

The first step before dating someone is giving them a little stalk (or big, we don’t judge) on their social media profiles. It’s the modern day background check. Without us realising, we are destroying all the mystery and authenticity when it comes to meeting someone and learning about them. Why? Because when you meet them, you already know all the answers. You know what school they went to, when their dog died, how many siblings they have, and even the names of their ex-boyfriends. On our dates, we try and play it off that we haven’t had an Instagram stalk or Facebook profile check, but in reality we all do it (don’t say you don’t, Karen). It’s not the 1970’s where you meet a cute stranger and you need to woo them before even getting their phone number; it’s the 21st Century where we have a large range of gidgets and gadgets and apps to help us get through almost any daily task.

We ask to see their body before we meet them

Oh, the horror! This is where ‘chivalry has dead’ (I use quotation marks because the debate on sending nudes and sexting is very divided, but I’ll try and play Switzerland here). Since we have dating apps and social media platforms that allow us to send both photos and messages, we (of course) figured out years ago that sending naked photos was a great way to get to know one another – even before meeting up. Okay, fine, you want to know my opinion? I think that’s just way too much before meeting your date in real life. In fact, I believe it takes away the fun of having sex for the first time together. That first time (or even only time) is when you should first see each other’s bodies – it’s a surprise filled with excitement because the mystery hasn’t been destroyed through sexting. I don’t know, call me old fashioned!

We don’t call, we text

Thank god. I’m not a phone person. I stutter, I say the wrong thing, and in general I’m just not a smooth talker like Zac Efron as Ted Bundy (okay, that went dark). However, I text like a ninja. I can have a conversation with you and type a message to somebody – making no mistakes – without even breaking eye contact. Jesus, modest much? Then again, maybe I’m like this because of the quick transition of technology and smartphones falling into our laps. I ask you, reader, are you a caller or a texter? I guarantee you feel more comfortable texting someone than calling. If I’m wrong, then I’m sorry, okay!

Planning a date has become easier than microwaving mac ‘n’ cheese

Seriously. This is how guys or gals can plan a date in 2019: Google “cheap nice restaurant near me”, scroll through the list and take a look at restaurants that have less ‘dollar signs’ on their Google profile. Then, take a look at the menu and choose what we want to eat before you go. We are lucky. We are so lucky. I asked my mum what it was like planning a date back in the dinosaur era (ha ha, not that funny) and she said that they barely would plan; they would call on their home phones and choose a time and place. If you didn’t know where that place was, then you’re fucked. Why? Because they didn’t have digital maps they could carry around.

We will go on our devices on our dates

Rude! We are all a little guilty of checking our phones during a date. Having a quick check of your notifications while someone is getting to know you at a nice dinner (or anywhere for that matter) is actually very rude. It might not seem like it is because we are so used to checking our phones every five minutes. When you do this, it makes the other person feel unimportant, unsexy, and uninteresting. Yes, it does! Just five seconds of you disengaging in a conversation with someone can make them feel at least one of the three feelings I mentioned. I have no sources to back me up on this – I speak from personal experience and conducting professional surveys in my area (cough* listening to friends whinge about it over drinks). At the end of the day, it’s bad manners. There shouldn’t even be such thing as a ‘phone break’ on a date. WTF.

If the conversation goes downhill, we have back-up

Yes. if our date kills the mood with a bad joke, or we decide to tell a dark personal story in the first hour of our date, we have apps to help us out. ‘Truth or Dare’, ‘Trivia’, ‘Guess the Celebrity’. It sounds cringe whipping out your phone, putting it up against your forehead and waiting for your date to start giving you clues as to ‘who you are’, however it’s nice to know our options are there.

If we don’t like them, no worries – just ghost them

Actually, this is easier than microwaving mac ‘n’ cheese. To ghost someone, all you have to do is nothing. You don’t like them? Do nothing. They start to text you in regards to a second date? Look at it, but no need to respond. This is where I truly believe our generation has mastered dating (massive sarcasm intended).

Happy dating, and don’t forget – checking your Facebook notifs can wait ‘til they go to the bathroom.