Not-So Social Media Take Four: Has Social Media Ruined The Idea of Marriage?

So, I'm riding (read: catching an Uber because, apparently, it's the millennial thing to do when you're running late to work and hate "real" public transportation) into work and catch a bit of the Joe Clair Morning Show. I usually tune out Mr. Clair because I find him corny--and not in a Russ Parr sense, where he's in on the joke, either. Apologies if that offends, but it's my opinion.

Anyhow, he brings up the topic of millennials and dating through a post on VerySmartBrothas.com. In said post, with a healthy dose of potential shea butteriness, the commentator breaks down Wale's "The Matrimony" as a testament as to why millennials are full of bitchassness, vapidness, and will probably doom our society because of our ineptitude at relationships. A good portion of this doom and ineptitude seems to come from our self-induced narcissistic coma brought on by the instant gratification of social media and the fears of failure and failing to live up to those lofty expectations imposed through social media.

So, has social media ruined marriage--or even dating?



Let's look at Tinder, OKCupid, and Match. These three apps are all owned by the same organization, IAC. What does that mean? Well, theoretically, even if the experience is varied, there's going to be a similar end result, because of similar behind-the-scenes rigmarole. It also could mean that a person who's on OKC is on Tinder...and Match...and POF...and may've looked on Craigslist in the personals before realizing that most people on CL just want to either be on the DL or get a blow-and-go and so on. You see the same people recycled over and over, which can, if you're not careful, lead to an almost obsessed demeanor over messages ("do they like me?" "Am I good-looking enough?" "Does this dress make my butt look too big?" "Are my mirror selfies dirty enough?"), leading to a sort-of breakdown because millennials are seemingly obsessed with proving people wrong and/or seeking perfection (I'm guilty of this, too, so kill the noise).

Additionally, social media and communication is a mixed bag. I try to legitimately talk to people before I meet them. Get their number, talk about the weather, talk about sports, maybe sneak a double entendre in there if I'm really feeling the woman, etc. However, it is a bit more difficult these days because social media dating is speed dating on crack. You don't know these people from a hole in the wall. They tend to not have shared friends with you, unless they're introduced through a mutual friend (or if Tinder lets you know). That's a good thing, because you can share interests and see what sticks. You get to do the heavy lifting in the relationship, thus making the payoff that much sweeter.

However, it's also bad because you can't hit up your friend and say "yo, you know [insert person's name here] from [class/down the street/'round the corner/the fif' flo']? What's s/he like?" You have to play it by ear and everything is, again, akin to speed dating on crack (especially with all the goddamned notifications you get from these apps). When in reality, online dating should be--and when executed properly actually is--more like offline dating than people make it out to be.

But, why has social media ruined it? Or rather, why have some millennials ruined it for the rest of the world? Well, shit happens, plain and simple. We can't pin the jacked up ideals people have about marriage (oh, it'll give me "stability," it's best if you have kids, you should stick with the person through everything--even if they hurt you--because MARRIAGE!, etc.) on a computer. That sort of thing comes from what we, as millennials, were taught by our parents--and they by theirs. Essentially, the jacked up ideas about marriage that exist today are no more the product of social media than they are of mommy and daddy fighting when they thought you were asleep. Yes, some millennials are socially inept because of their overdependency on smart-devices. But, that's not the only reason.

(...Especially since this "ineptitude" has been going on for
years!)

I don't have all the answers, nor will I claim I do. But, the failure of the concept of marriage can't just be put on millennials or social media. Also, despite my "shea butteriness" comment, check out the VSB post. It's pretty funny and does make some valid points--even if it sounds just as millennialriffic as the song it's trying to deconstruct.

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