Opinion: Hookup culture is ruining traditional dating

Over spring break, I spent my down time watching a lot of Buzzfeed videos. Within the hours I spent watching stunt tricks and food reviews, I stumbled upon a dating video. Zach Kornfeld, one of the Try Guys featured on Buzzfeed, set out on the dating site OkCupid to find his “worst enemy.”

In the duration of the experiment, he publicly spoke to the founder of OkCupid, Christian Rudder, and found that the site not only matches couples, but can also sort by who is an enemy.

Although I am one of Buzzfeed’s biggest fans and hope to one day work for the organization, I full-heartedly disagreed with this video and the message it sent.

In our generation, the hookup culture is at an alltime high. With highly accessible apps such as Tinder and Bumble, people are hooking up with others with nothing more than a swipe to the right. It seems that these apps empower hooking up — and have destroyed traditional dating.

It seems as if society has turned dating into meaningless hookups. We are a generation of immediate gratification. Getting to know people and creating meaningful connections has been overpowered by the want for a companion at that very moment. We aren’t taking the time to actually meet and make personal connections with people off the internet. And I hate to sound like an old person, but we rely on technology so much — to the point where we rely on apps and websites to create “matches” for us.

The “friends with benefits” culture only really benefits sexual needs, thus leading to commitment and trust issues with others.

Our society and media haven’t helped with this, either — they actually feed into it. The movies “Friends with Benefits” and “No Strings Attached” not only showed unrealistic expectations of the hookup culture, they actually give false hope to the viewers. We have the phrases, “Slide into your DMs,” “Netflix and chill,” and even apps that rate your physical appearance, like “Hot or Not?” Rather than going to a movie or even a dinner date, people meet up at private houses and “chill” there, usually expecting a lot more than just a cuddle sesh.

I’ve watched my friends use apps like these, and usually their “match” ends with a one night stand or a total rejection. I know there are some stories out there of individuals meeting their soulmate, and I absolutely adore those stories — but these are rare. According to Psychology Today’s Zhana Vrangalova, Ph.D., 10–20 percent of “friends with benefits” go into long term relationships, leaving the other 80–90 percent to split up, especially when the sex “fizzles out.”

Watching that Buzzfeed video made me realize how much we don’t make personal connections. We read other people’s bios to learn about them, rather than sitting for coffee and learning their deepest thoughts and dreams. Maybe I’m just a romantic, but in this day and age traditional dating is dead, and modern dating is just a plea to nail and bail.

ILLUSTRATION BY BRUNO MARQUEZ
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