Students at Lehigh, imagine this: You are sitting at a library table and a classmate you don’t know very well approaches and asks you out for a cup of coffee.
Would you be taken aback? Would you feel excited or uncomfortable? Would you say yes or no?
Now, imagine that same person instead gets your number from a mutual friend and sends you a text message asking you to a date party or formal.
Would you immediately respond, or would you take some time to consider your answer? Would you do a little research on the suitor? Get back to the person in a couple hours after doing your due diligence?
What happens if, in another circumstance, you meet this person at a party and you hook up with them? After this, would you expect a friend request? A text from an unknown number? Would you hope to see that person again?
College students get thrown off when they are asked out in person because they don’t have the luxury of time to think and craft a “perfect” response, as they would with a text.
We all use social media to do FBI-style background checks on our suitors. We want to make sure they are attractive, “normal” and someone we can get along with. Luckily, social media gives us the power to have this information before we even get to know the person we’re Facebook-stalking.
We use our phones to craft out meticulous responses that will be perceived as “chill.” When communicating with someone we’re interested in, we don’t want to sound too eager, nor do we want to sound impolite.
Communicating today is like using a complicated formula to solve a simple addition problem.
Millennials are always on their phones — devices that provide us power and ample information — to the point where we’ve become dependent upon them to shield us from vulnerability.
We are “protected” by computers, cell phones and tablets — the devices that disguise our actual voices and genuine emotions. Flirting is done through a third party.
In this modern age, technology has become our safety net. This is evident in Lehigh’s dating scene, or lack thereof.
Committed relationships are hard to come by on this campus. It seems like our hookup culture prohibits people from being their most vulnerable and honest selves.
It is normal to play the unspoken game that Lehigh’s social scene seems to dictate. If you hook up with someone, play it cool. Don’t show too much interest because that will scare them off. Don’t be too upfront because you don’t want to seem aggressive or crazy, but also don’t be too subtle.
If you spend a good amount of time with someone, don’t bring up your feelings because then hanging out will no longer be casual. Stay emotionless.
In a survey previously conducted by The Brown and White, 72 percent of survey respondents reported they “never” or “rarely” expect hookups to turn into more than just that.
Pretending not to care and communicating through our phones—Is this our progressive approach to romance?
Or do students here at Lehigh truly have no interest in putting themselves out there and being vulnerable?
It seems like anyone and everyone can attest to the discomfort of being vulnerable. Going out of your comfort zone is notoriously uncomfortable.
But hiding behind your phone should not prevent you from going for what — or who — you want.
Valentine’s Day is approaching. So leave your phone in your room, go out there and use your words.