There is a camaraderie and proprietorship to being a millennial. dating
We all went through the same phases, forever bonded by trends we’ve experienced together. For example, no one can tell me N’Sync was better than Backstreet Boys, and I will gladly discuss this with anyone whose passion matches mine on the subject. If I say, “That’s hot” my fellow Simple Life fans instantly get the Paris-and-Nicole reference.
In recent years, I’ve noticed a new trend that bonds my fellow millennial generation. As I ponder this, a quick browse of my Facebook news feed confirms what I’m thinking. As I scroll past selfies, passive aggressive statuses, and cat videos, multiple articles shared by my fellow millennials catch my eye…
I’m clearly not the only person who has noted this societal trend and I wonder how much truth there is to this – do millennials themselves believe this to be the status-quo, and how do they really feel about it?
It’s 2016: Get Online.
It cannot be denied: we’re the digital generation. Hook-up culture may not be new (look at those free lovin’ hippies), but the means by which we meet people, or “date”, has been vastly impacted by technology.
Over 75% of Canadians have a smartphone, and almost every dating website now has an app. It’s not uncommon to glance at the guy next to you on the subway and see him frantically swiping right on hot girls, or hear, “I’ve been talking to this cute guy on Tinder” over brunch with your gals. I mean, it’s 2016.
A quick chat with a few friends confirms this: “I feel like it’s not embarrassing to do online dating in this society. I’ve tried Tinder and OkCupid – I’d be down to say I found someone online!” says Breanne, a 22 year-old Torontonian.
Breanne isn’t alone: Matt, a 22 year-old U of T student says, “We are in the age of social media! I understand some people’s reservations with online dating, but you shouldn’t put down other people for using it. No shame for meeting people the way you want to.”
According eHarmony, roughly a quarter of all Canadians (ages 18-34) have tried online dating, and 16% say they have had sex with someone they met online. But it’s not just about “hooking up” anymore: while 63% of couples report meeting their partner through a friend, 20% of current, committed relationships began online.
Kirby, a 24 year-old Barista Manager, wasn’t looking for a relationship, but is now married to his partner: “It just happened! I met Trevor online, so I def think online dating can go beyond a ‘hook-up’.”
Author and journalist Dan Slate, who penned Love in the Time of Algorithms, predicts, “We will reach a point when people don’t distinguish between meeting online and offline… we won’t refer to online dating; it will just be dating.”
If we’ve heard it once we’ve heard it a million times: according to statistics, millennials are marrying later, putting off families with a focus on their careers. With this focus, it makes sense that no one wants to settle. And when you’re a millennial living in the big city, the dating options are endless. Add social media into this and we’ve created a cultural phenomenon.
“Hook-up culture, which has been percolating for about a hundred years, has collided with dating apps, which have acted like a wayward meteor on the now dinosaur-like rituals of courtship.” – Vanity Fair
As noted in Maclean’s article, “Online dating and the search for true love – or loves”, online dating has transformed our end goals – or the end goals of generations before us – of commitment and marriage. It has assured us that there are new options just a swipe, click, or snap away. With this is mind, why would you settle? “The bar for what people consider to be a good relationship will go up,” predicts Slater. “The other side is there will be more breakups, because people won’t feel imprisoned in relationships that aren’t right.”
Twenty-three year-old Ivanka shares this sentiment: while she wants to get married someday, she doesn’t feel any pressure to settle: “There is no rush. I’d love to get married, but only when it feels like the right time in our lives.”
I can’t help but agree: in a world where we are so connected virtually, there’s no need to pick a partner so early – personally, I’d rather wait for the right person that make me want to commit.
Embracing the Stereotype
To return to my original query: do millennials themselves believe this [online dating and hook-up culture] to be the status-quo, and how do they really feel about it?
I think it’s safe to say that everyone is aware of this online-hookup-dating trend, and many accept this as a new societal norm. The stigma of meeting someone online is dissipating, and while we’re not looking for commitment right now, we’re not completely opposed to it. We pretty much fit the millennial stereotype, but we’re embracing it.
Hayley loves early-2000s emo music and making ‘To Do’ lists. When not writing for Glossi Mag, she can be found discussing the Kardashians with anyone who will listen.