Adam and Eve, Cleopatra and Antony, Romeo and Juliet, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Johnny Cash and June Carter. What do all of these couples have in common? Love. The funny part, while Romeo and Juliet may or may not have existed, these couples were truly, madly, and deeply in love. So what does that have to do with us? It has to deal with the fact that back in the day, true love was not a status on Facebook or any social media for that matter. True love was seen in person, as in face to face contact. Couples did this thing called courting where they went out on dates without, wait for it...cell phones. They actually sat and talked. Today, high school students, college students, and even adults are relying on social media for the sake of their relationships as well for hook-ups.
Being a college student, as well as having friends and a sister in high school, I have a pretty good idea of what is going on in the minds of students. Nowadays, guys will ask girls to "hang out" instead of going out on a date. And they will not ask you in person or call you up. Instead, they will text you or ask you via some form of social media. In his editorial, "The End of Courtship?" Alex Williams of the New York Times talks about how in traditional courtship, "Picking up the telephone and asking someone on a date – required courage, strategic planning and a considerable investment of ego (by telephone, rejection stings.") This is true. Talking with my parents and grandparents, that was how guys asked girls on a date. Has courtship died?
Being a teenager (or young adult) we like to hang out with friends and occasionally drink alcohol. Sometimes, we do things we can be ashamed of, like doing the "walk of shame" the next morning. For those of you who do not know what the walk of shame is, it is a walk home or to wherever you are going after hooking up the night before. That being said, what exactly is hooking up?
According to Amanda Holman of University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Alan Sillars of the University of Montana, "Hooking up is used to describe a sexual encounter between two people who are not dating or in a serious relationship and do not expect anything further." I do not think I can think of a better definition than this one. Now hooking can happen sober or with a little help from alcohol. I have friends who have hooked up because of alcohol. We hear the stories all time, students just do not want to admit to it. "It starts at a party, where there is a plenty of booze. As the evening goes on, couples form and eventually move off to do whatever they have in mind," Lee Dye of ABC News reports. If you look on Twitter or on the website, Collegefession, students in colleges from all over the United States anonymously talk about their "crazy nights" and hook ups. "Every party here is 2/3 dudes. I don't go to parties to talk to guys, I go to parties to get laid." – NDSU. (This was a tweet taken from the Collegefession Twitter feed.)
"Young people today don't know how to get out of hookup culture," Donna Freitas of Boston University says. "They're wondering, 'If you like someone, how would you walk up to them? What would you say? What words would you use?'" An argument can be made that social media is corrupting teens and ruining courtship, but that is a whole different issue in itself.
So what do we do? We cannot really do anything except hope that teens and young adults can start to learn how to actually call on the phone and ask a girl on a date instead of texting or using social media to ask to "hang out." For hooking up, it is a mindset. You live and you learn. Eventually hooking up will grow old and settling down will be an option. It just takes willpower and the ability to say no.