Has Gen Z canned commitment?


Aubrie Selsmeyer / The Advance-Titan – The Statista Digital Market Outlook estimates the number of online dating users in the U.S. to increase to 53.3 million by 2024 compared to 44.2 million in 2020.

Aubrie Selsmeyer, Opinion Editor

My parents have always said that my generation has it so much easier connecting with each other via cellphones and social media. 

And although I love the convenience of having all of my friends at my fingertips, I sometimes wish it wasn’t that easy. Life would be so much simpler if we spent less time communicating through our phone screens and more time face-to-face. 

In fact, sometimes I feel like the amount of time we spend talking through a screen alters our ability to function in verbal conversations. Social media has caused a disconnect in our lives. 

Not only has social media/technology affected the way we communicate face-to-face, but how we interact with significant others. According to Pew Research Center, 51% of Americans admitted to their partners being distracted by a cellular device while spending time together.

On the flip side of things, social media is used to reminisce about past relationships with about 54% of people saying “they have used these platforms to check up on someone they used to date or be in a relationship with,” according to the Pew Research Center. 

Social media nurtures relationships built over the phone and makes it too easy for people to keep tabs on their exes, two very unhealthy habits. 

And it wouldn’t be the digital age of dating without the “talking phase.” 

So what exactly is the talking phase? Cosmopolitan describes it as this, “The apparently Gen-Z-coined phrase is a vague descriptor for an early pseudo-relationship full of texting and talking—and maybe even full-blown dates and hookups—but no commitment.”

The talking phase is basically a pre-dating stage where you may even accidentally get yourself entangled in a messy situationship that no one wants to find themselves in. 

The key thing to note about this phase is that it’s predominantly just texting. 

Many relationships don’t make it much further than this stage, because unfortunately some people are just better at texting. 

If you’re anything like my parents and you’re still wondering what exactly it means to “talk” to somebody, here’s the quickest way I can summarize it. Talking isn’t dating, but in order to date you must conquer the talking phase. Makes sense right? 

It is everything that a relationship entails without actually calling it a relationship, because that’s way too scary. 

My dad told me that when he met my mom he had to remember her phone number and write it down when he got home from the bar,  and to some miracle he did it. Their talking stage consisted of phone calls over the rotary phone from his kitchen. 

Social media has falsified relationships and made them unnecessarily confusing for everyone. 

In this digital age of dating you have to remember two things. Number one, don’t get yourself into a situationship and number two, don’t keep tabs on your ex on social media.