The following column is the opinion and analysis of the writer, Katharina Buczek.
Gone are the days of bar run-ins, totally blind dates, and basically all romantic introductions that occur by happenstance. Instead, technology has essentially turned us into a bunch of stalkers.
Your friend set you up on a “blind date?” You probably Googled the guy’s name beforehand. Perhaps you even peeked at his LinkedIn profile to check his employment status or scrolled down his Twitter feed to see his stance on the Rihanna Super Bowl performance. We’ve all been there.
Meeting someone new at a bar is a totally changed game nowadays, too. Think about the last time you saw someone you thought was seriously attractive while out on the town.
In the past, you might have turned to a friend and asked, “Who’s that?” Then, after you learned the guy or gal’s name, that was virtually all the info you could get. So, you were literally forced to approach the person in the flesh if you wanted to learn more about them.
Today, though, times have changed. Even a simple response from your friend like, “Oh, that’s John– we work out together at LA Fitness,” can give you enough context to find an Instagram profile, a Facebook account, or perhaps worse, a cringy TikTok.
Now, you might be wondering, “Why does any of this matter?” Well, this tiny example just goes to show how millennials and Gen Zers are reinventing romantic norms.
While courting someone in person was the go-to respectful way to show your interest in the past, sending an Instagram DM is now wholly acceptable. Plus, some even prefer it (thanks, social anxiety).
Other dating norms– like who should pay for the dinner bill and when it is appropriate to reach third base– have rapidly changed, too. And arguably, the most interesting dating “don’t” turned “do” concerns one age-old communication mantra– the “three-day rule.”