Living on the other side of the world from an ex makes things easier, right? Right?! Wrong. In this New York Magazine article, Maureen O’Connor talks about the change in the dating landscape effected by social media and smartphones. And her conclusions are scarily on point.
>> All My Exes Live in Texts : Why the Social Media Generation Never Really Breaks Up <<
So have you ever de-friended an ex who kept popping up on your Facebook newsfeed with pictures of his new squeeze? Blocked him on Gchat? Boycotted social media for a month to detox? You’re not alone. Apparently, we’re all doing it. And it’s seriously ruining our lives.
>> Why Girls Make Up Names for the Guys They Date <<
The author poses that girls nickname guys in order to distance themselves to curtail future emotional trauma when said guys (inevitably) transition out of their lives. It’s a conveniently philosophical argument, but I’m not really buying it. I know that I’ve employed nicknames, because names like “John” and “Matt” are so generic that it’s easy to confuse them with the 10 other Johns and Matts we collectively know.
This brings us to the next article, which argues why nicknames given to girls by guys tend to be more offensive. Guys nickname to dispel confusion. No one’s going to forget “Puke Girl” and the accompanying story he invariably included in her description. The author also mentions the fact that guys nickname to make funny stories funnier.
>> Why ‘Hot Gym Girl’ Is a Grosser Nickname Than ‘Hot Gym Guy’ <<
But I have another proposition: guys’ nicknames for girls are more offensive, because they overwhelmingly reference appearance. And “Duckbilled Platypus” (a girl who resembles said animal) is definitely meaner than “Laundry Boy” (guy you first met at dry cleaners). It’s just a fact of life that men place more stock in a female’s appearance than do women in a male’s appearance. But at the same time, women care a lot about their own appearance, too. It’s just this cycle of women feeling insecure about how they look and men being brutal/unforgiving about that same thing. Men’s nicknames for women are more hurtful, because they target insecurities women probably already have! In fact, a woman might have the same nickname among men in different social circles, just because of her distinct appearance – i.e. Horse Face. Don’t lie. You know one.
It’s official: it’s not just me; it’s my whole generation! According to literature, Generation Y/Millennials (born between 1982-2000s) is defined by our collective narcissism, need for meaning, tech-savvy and confusing dating rituals (or lack thereof). It turns out that these characteristics are borne of the phenomenon that we just think we’re better! But instead of feeling pretty good about it, our awesomeness is dragging us down. Our smart and savvy generation is marked by an intense fear of commitment – resulting in a confusing and mostly virtual dating landscape – as well as an unwillingness to settle on a career.
So what’s to blame? While Baby Boomers and Generation X did what they had to do to scrape together a living, we grew up coddled and bolstered up by our doting parents. We drank copiously from the confidence Kool-Aid that told us that we need to realize our potential! We need to do something we believe in! We’re trying to live up to our own impossibly high expectations but, in doing so, are prolonging that painful period of adolescence. And then we’re posting all that shit up on Facebook to feel less alone. The repercussions:
>> Millennials Are More ‘Generation Me’ Than ‘Generation We’ <<
>> Hannah Seligson: Understanding the Misunderstood Generation Y <<
And, to make it worse, digital media is killing romance. I even have friends who have been in serious, long-term relationships who have never been on a “real date” before!
>> The End of Courtship? <<
>> Has Facebook Ruined Love? <<
What we can all take away from this is that Generation Y just can’t manage to grow up.
So let’s try to be the adults it’s biologically possible to become…
>> Note to Generation Y Workers: Performance on the Job Matters <<
…and get our shit together! A friend recently recommended the book to help me through this time in my life: The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter — And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay. Apparently it’s a more extensive view on the extended adolescence we seem to be experiencing and how to get past it.
We would need a book like this.