Written by Mehrose Ahmad
“Cuffing Season,” (a period in the year when couples notoriously date to pass the frigid months of winter) has technically ended, but teenage dating culture is still very much alive, even at Townsend Harris. However, with the passing of generations, the nature of dating culture has changed with the emergence of slang and the manipulation of typical social media for dating purposes and dating apps.
Tinder, an app primarily used for hookups, has gained prominence with its customary swipe as a way to find a long term relationship. Though Tinder is popular among those who consider themselves single, THHS students have had varied experiences with it. An anonymous senior writes, “I’ve met a jerk, a really nice ‘mama’s’ boy’ from an affluent family, a weirdo who never spoke to me again after our date, and some guys that I am very good friends with.” This senior feels “like there is someone out there for everyone and Tinder makes it easier to connect to a larger crowd.” She adds, “I feel that Tinder is allowing us to meet people we may not meet on a day to day basis, something hard to do when you go to a small school with mostly girls. It also grants a student the ability to keep a wall of separation between school and his or her romantic life.”
Although some apps are exclusively designed for dating, other softwares have also evolved into applications that couples can use to their benefit. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are popular locations where people post statuses about or images of their significant others. These apps can also be used to catch up with your significant other through instant messaging. Junior Alexis Sarabia, who is currently in a relationship, uses Snapchat and Facebook Messenger to catch up with her significant other after a long day. “We use the apps to send short messages to each other sometimes but mostly to have long conversations. It’s an everyday thing.”
Despite the prominence of these technological and alternative methods for maintaining and beginning a relationship, many THHS students do still believe in reverting back to the dating practices of older generations, which involve people more formally asking others out without the assistance of any apps. These social media trends can have both positive and negative repercussions, but regardless of the consequences, social media for many is the crux of the relationship whether the relationship be blossoming, steady, or dwindling.