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How Technology Is Shaping Relationships For Millennials

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How Technology Is Shaping Relationships For Millennials

Do social media and smartphones make dating easier or wreak havoc for singles?

You can pretty much find anything you need these days using technology. All it takes is a click of a button or app to find the latest makeup trends, hottest songs or tv shows, and juicy celeb gossip. Not only does major news break on Twitter, but social media has also created a new wave of career opportunities. So it’s no wonder that social media and smartphones have had a major impact on how Millennials date.

Today’s young singles skip the old-school logistics of dating and have full-blown relationships solely through their phones. They shape their romantic lives around texting, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and video chat, and opt out of phone calls and in-person communication. But, is this the smartest approach to dating? Does this technology make dating easier or is it wreaking havoc for singles?

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Some Millennials celebrate these advances as they allow us to remain in constant contact with our love interest. “When me and my boyfriend started dating, we texted and used FaceTime all the time to communicate,” said Julia, 23, from the Bronx. “It was so convenient because our work schedules were conflicting, so it was nice to wake up to a ‘Good Morning’ text as he was getting in from his overnight shift, and FaceTiming one another when we were on our lunch breaks.”

This constant communication due to technology allows couples like to remain connected even when they aren’t physically together.

The use of social media in romantic relationships also eases the pressure of finding something to bond over, especially during the beginning stages of dating. Anthony, 22, of Staten Island, said that he likes when he’s dating a girl who is as into using social media as he is. That way they share a common interest. “It’s easier to bond and talk if we are both watching the same Snapchat stories or watching the same Instagram videos.”

While there are tons of Millennials who share Anthony and Julia’s views on this “smart” way of dating, others like Tanya, 25, from Manhattan hate it, and believe that it’s destroying the fun and romance of dating. “I want to be courted and asked out on a date,” Tanya admitted, “I like phone calls and sweet messages, but guys my age are not doing that anymore.” What does she have to look forward to? It doesn’t seem like much at all. “The most I can hope for is a text asking if I’m free later, and it’s just really sad this is what it’s come to because guys are just not putting in the effort anymore.”

Technology has made dating way too easy, which can kill the mystery of romance and courtship.

And it sucks when you are on a date as well! Many young singles have been subjected to watching someone play with their phone instead of enjoying their company. “I’ve been out on dates where girls are attached to their phones 24/7,” said Bradley, 25, of Manhattan, “[and] even take [their cell] with them to the bathroom. Such a turn off.” Christian, 29, of Queens, cosigns, stating that after exchanging digits and having great text conversations there’s often nothing much to say when they meet in person. “There is dead silence,” he share. “It’s such a disappointment when a girl can only communicate if she is behind a phone screen.”

But, how does social media and technology affect couples? It’s a great platform to share precious relationship milestones, like taking a big vacation, buying a home, and having a child or getting married. However, there is a down side – and it comes with jealousy, drama and even cheating.

MORE: Is He Cheating via Social Media? Signs He Might Be 

“I can’t tell you how many girlfriends have called me crying because their guy secretly sent another girl messages on Instagram and liked her pics,” Melissa, 26, of Brooklyn said of the constant cheating that can occur via social media “These social networks are making it harder for some of us now because they open yet another way for someone to cheat or be unfaithful. So now we have to worry if our partner is not only cheating but are they flirting or stepping out on us on social media too?”

Some young couples even complain that using smartphones can become an addicting habit, causing couples to ignore one another instead of communicating about the issues at hand. “I’m not the best when it comes to confrontation,” shared Sonya, 27, of Staten Island, “so whenever my boyfriend and I get into an argument, it actually helps me much more if I am texting him. It drives him crazy, but it’s literally the only way I feel comfortable communicating and I feel like I can get my point across better.”

What does this all say about Millennials? Are they doomed to have crappy and disconnected relationships? Of course not! In the end, it is all about boundaries and expectations, and finding a balance between your love of technology and social media and being emotionally present with a love interest or partner in real life. If used right, technology can be a wonderful tool to help you meet “the one” and remain connected with your partner. Millennials just need to use it to their advantage, not their demise.

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Tiffani is a true city gal, hailing from the concrete jungle of New York City. With a large coffee in tow (that’s pronounced caw-fee to my non-New Yorkers) this closeted “self-help” addict and Lifestyles writer is on a continuous quest to discover how to have the best romantic life. An old soul with new age sarcasm, Tiffani’s sharp, witty and tell-it-like-it-is attitude has resulted in many a snafu as she tries to navigate and conquer the most challenging and complicated assignment of all: dating the New York City man. Come a long for the ride as this seasoned serial dater tries to find balance between her journey to self-love and her old school values on dating and relationships. She writes about her lessons and adventures in dating as a twenty-something millennial and all the new rules that apply.

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