Has social media destroyed dating?

About a week ago, I was talking to two of my female co-workers about modern dating and some trending patterns and behavior that seem to have become the unfortunate norm.

I would say dating for me began during high school.  If there was a guy that liked you, he would ask for your phone number, call you that day, maybe a day later and by the weekend you would find yourself on a date.  Any guy that I dated came over and met my family and vice versa.  If the relationship made it to a few dates, you naturally became boyfriend and girlfriend and everyone knew what was up.  Don’t get me wrong, guys have been so called “players” for as long as I can remember (girls as well but for the sake of my story I am going to stick with the female take on this issue).  However, back in the day, they put in work.  They at least played the game and made it seem like they were interested in you and made efforts to woo the girl.

All of that seems to have changed now, though.  Guys don’t seem to have the desire nor the know how to properly pursue a woman that he is interested in.   Many of the men that ask a female out don’t want to take the time to go on an actual date.  Now they want you to come over and “chill” or “watch Netflix”.  And half of the guys that do want to go out somewhere expect you to pay for part of the date.  The guys I dated when I was 17 had better etiquette than the guys I meet now.  It was always known that the guy would be paying for the date.  He would be embarrassed to even let you reach into your pocket, especially on a first date.  Often times, if he asks you to just “hang out” and you then suggest going out somewhere, you won’t even hear from him by the time that day comes. Paying for a date also seems to come with the expectation that you will be giving him “dessert” after dinner, if you know what I mean.  If you don’t, you might not hear from him again.

At this point in our conversation, we started talking about social media and the role that we believe it plays in this mess of a dating world.  See, social media sites like Instagram and Snapchat give men constant and immediate access to tons of girls, many of them posing half naked or showing their backside to the world to get “likes”.  If you pose any sort of a challenge or make it too “difficult” for a man, he will easily replace you and find a female that is willing to give him what he truly wants from one of many social media websites that are on his phone. With features like the DM (direct messaging)  on Instagram, females are sending sexy pictures of themselves to guys.  There is even a song by Yo Gotti called, “It Goes Down in the DM”.  This has made many guys think that it is the norm to send pictures of yourself during text conversations.  I have had guys ask me to send them pictures within the first ten minutes of texting with them.  It’s sad that they have no reservation to ask a woman to do this.  The sad thing is, if you don’t send him one, there are probably a dozen other females that will.  It has also become a sad norm that if you are dating or in a relationship with someone, they will look to social media to make themselves feel better or as a way of getting attention when the going gets tough.  You and your man get into an argument and  don’t talk for a day or two and he is already on Instagram looking for the next woman to boost his ego.  It’s pathetic, hurtful and disrespectful.  I dated someone who seemed to jump to Instagram every time things went sour between us.  I’m not talking about major break ups, I’m talking about normal, everyday arguments.  God forbid I was upset and didn’t respond to a text, he was on the prowl on Instagram looking for attention.  Instead of facing problems and talking them out, many people now escape into virtual reality because it is much easier than dealing with the actual issue at hand.  Social media has become a threat to many relationships.  While I do agree that it is the person that is the issue and we are responsible for our actions, the truth is that there are many people who are not strong enough to resist the temptation when it is so easy to do and literally right there in the palm of their hand.  I know someone personally who is very close to me and she had this exact problem with her boyfriend.   Life, kids, financial struggle and a bunch of other elements were taking their toll on her relationship.  He grew more and more distant everyday and seemed to have an obsession with Instagram.  He escaped to Instagram every time reality became too difficult and was meeting many girls there.  It got to the point that my friend felt very insecure and threatened by his social media pages and would sit there looking through tons of females profiles trying to piece things together.  We had friends using fake Instagram pages to “follow” him to try to find out what was going on.  This might sound crazy but trust me, this is actually very common now.  The urge to constantly check your partner’s page to see who is “liking” and commenting has become a part of our everyday routine.  It is threatening when you see people of the opposite sex leaving flirtatious emojis under your partner’s pictures and it is a smack in the face.  I personally feel that if you are in a serious relationship, you should delete anyone who is leaving these types of comments under your pictures.  I was so threatened by my last partner’s IG that I asked him to put up a picture of me.  He refused, which only made my insecurities even worse.

I wish we could go back to a time when things were simpler.  When a woman was a prize to be earned, when the only way you could get a picture of a woman was to take one yourself during private moments, when men had to actually go out and hustle to find another girl as opposed to just clicking the “Request” button.