Going on a walk in the park or out to dinner and a movie are classic date ideas. But do people go on dates anymore?

Years ago, a boy would pick a girl up around 8 p.m. and they would go out to dinner, which he would pay for, and then a movie. But lately the dating culture has changed largely into “hanging out.” The question is why?

Asking someone on a date used to take courage. A boy would call a girl’s home phone to ask her out, hoping her parents weren’t on the other line. He would usually dress in his Sunday best, hoping to impress the girl as well as her parents. He would usually have to meet her parents, especially her dad, before taking her out for the night but not forgetting to have her home at 10 p.m. sharp.

But now all someone has to do is send a text asking to hangout and where to “meet up.” This is a lot less intimidating. And a girl knows that if she gets a text to hangout past 10 p.m. it’s considered a booty call solely for hooking up.

Teenagers are growing up in the hookup culture, where being exclusive to one person is rare. Often, you see people in open relationships where they are hooking up with multiple people before they can pick just one. This is primarily because it is so easy to meet multiple people and like all of them with today’s technology. With such easy access to talk to anyone with cellphones, people hardly get to know each other.

Today a guy could probably name the color thong a girl was wearing when they hooked up before he could remember her last name — and vice versa.

Teenagers can text every day but hardly know each other or speak in person. That is the epitome of this problem: People are disconnected from reality. Teenage girls and boys are being classified as hot and not much more. You never hear a guy or girl say after a hookup, “His/her personality is awesome.” It’s more like, “He/she was so hot.”

The worth of dating has gone down the drain with teenagers, because dating is available at their fingertips. The new app Tinder allows high school and college students to scroll through pictures of men or women and “swipe” right if they think they are cute and left if they think they are not cute. Once you swipe right you are able to chat them and meet up for a date. This is essentially online dating for younger generations.

This has really taken away the dignity of a person; you are literally judging them by how they look. All you see at first is their picture, first name and age, and that’s how you are supposed to determine whether they are suitable to date.

The times are changing, and the way we interact with people is bound to change as well. But the way we respect another person should not change. The way dating has evolved has turned people into a piece of clothing on a mannequin, something pretty to look at.

Teenagers need to take hold of their roots and put more effort into dating and how they treat one another.

 

Allison O’Neill is a junior at Benilde-St. Margaret’s School.