The American young adult dating culture is always changing, but Virginia Tech relationships expert Jill Kiecolt explains how social media may be affecting the dating landscape in ways that we’ve never seen before.
As we approach Valentine’s Day, Kiecolt is available to discuss the impact of new technologies on personal relationships.
“The dating scene 50 or 60 years ago was very different than what it is today because dating used to be formal dates; not just hanging out,” said Kiecolt. “Technology may not have initiated that change because American culture itself has changed so much over time. However, social media possibly amplifies the modern informalities of dating. The current dating scene may be a lot more fun because you see people in realistic settings rather than only on formal dates.”
· “There’s the question of when the proper time is to post that you’re in a relationship because updating your online relationship status is essentially a formal declaration to the world that you’re dating someone.”
· “If and when you break up, that’s another dramatic stage which must be taken care of on Facebook and other platforms—social media certainly can add social pressure to a relationship.”
· “The general perception around alternative partners may have changed in young adults. People have an increased sense that they have an unlimited pool of potential partners. This concept of alternative exchange may be promoted to an extent of ‘permanent availability’ in which even partners in committed relationships still romantically observe others outside the relationship and wonder if there’s a better relationship out there.”
Jill Kiecolt is a professor of sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech. Her areas of specialization include social psychology, social structure and personality, sociology of marriage and family, along with race, identity, and mental health.
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Written by Justin McCloskey