Last week The New York Times writer, Alex Williams, released an article that has sparked quite a reaction among the 20-something year olds around the country. The End of Courtship? discusses the “hookup” culture that has come into existence over the last few years. This culture is quite different from what our parents went through, as dating has been replaced by the laid-back feel of casual sex and hanging out. The article pulls at heartstrings as many of us can relate to the dread of deciphering text-messages, fear of rejection, and the casual hangouts that are always so vague and sometimes involve just chatting online. Is dating really over? Has our generation cut out a part of life that has been around for centuries? HBO’s hit show, Girls, has definitely given us the impression that Lena Dunham has provided us with the voice of our generation, and if this is true, then fuck, I hate our generation. In the first season, Dunham’s character, Hannah, was in a limbo with her “friend” (unclear), Adam, and she was constantly obsessing about his vagueness, his comments about other girls, and general rudeness to her. Eventually they end up being exclusive, but the road to getting there was rough and I know I would’ve just given up completely if I were her. Is this really how we have to be with one another…is it just a game of who cares less and no expression of feelings? Has the hook-up culture taken away romance?
According to Williams, yes it has, “Blame the much-documented rise of the “hookup culture” among young people, characterized by spontaneous, commitment-free (and often, alcohol-fueled) romantic flings.” Yes, this is a popular choice among college students who are much too young to make a commitment, but is this habit going to become permanent? As most of my friends (myself included) find themselves in ambiguous situations with guys, I’m worried that we are giving in to a new way of dating/intimacy. Finding ways to get close to someone without revealing too much, because if they really cared they could just look up your favorite bands on Facebook, or what your day has been like according to Twitter. This article has been the topic of conversation for the past few days, and most people I have talked to are disappointed in what our generation has become…but no one has a solution.
In a world of online dating and prominent social media presences, we are putting ourselves out on the web, which makes everything so much more awkward in person. It’s much easier to sit at home talking to someone via g-chat or texting rather than making the effort to step outside and actually see them. Unless it is 2 o’clock in the morning and the bars are closed, then you can blame the alcohol for the sudden boldness you have. The End of Courtship? made me realize that all in all, our generation is one that is fearful of taking risks, as we might end up embarrassed and vulnerable, it’s much easier to hide behind a screen and wait around for someone to reach out to you.