• Nathaniel G. Sands

The Dating Game

Cousins - Madison's Pug Glen kissing Bradley

As someone who has been in and out of the dating game meeting girls at the bar, the dog park, church... and of course, online, this seems like a pretty relevant topic to discuss - but it will come not from me but my little sister!

Madison Sands, then and now

My younger sister Madison recently told me she's been thinking about starting a blog. She shared with me a write-up on this subject and said if I'd like to I could post it. Well, I would certainly like to! Madison is not only my sister but a really good friend, and good person in general. Her and I were always quite close in our own quiet, interpersonal ways. We still meet regularly, especially to get our dog's together. Bradley and Glen have been growing up together, and honestly I think Glen has a bit of a crush!

From the big disconnect, by Giles Slade, which I have begun to read and I'm sure will help me understand this difficult topic better:

"Throughout the twentieth century, human interaction declined rapidly. Even the loss of superficial ones like those involved in retail exchanges radically reduced our opportunity to acquire, hone, and maintain social skills. Not surprisingly, contemporary research indicates that a vast majority of Americans feel rudeness has overtaken most aspects of daily life in public."

Without further adieux, from my sister, Madison Sands:

"I grew up on the cusp of what we call 'millennials.' I quickly learned that this is not a Seinfeld reference and I'm still trying to figure out exactly what a millennial is.

"I was fortunate enough to grow up in one of the last few generations of playing outside. Cops and robbers, or grounders were popular games and I would stay out late hoping to catch the last bit of sunlight to play a bit more - or until mom called me in for dinner. The Tamagochi was a technological revelation and I still remember when the Gameboy-colour came out and Kirby was pink.

"But my concern for us with technology at our fingertips is this new dating game of the millennial era. And when I say 'game' I mean it! Now, if you aren't familiar with the term 'ghosting,' I will inform you it is not from Ghost Busters - you probably won't hear from this person after that first date. This one confuses me, as this was not passed down from my parents.

"Dating apps like Tinder have become a game of match. A 'DM' does not stand for dating material, but direct message, and this usually happens around 1AM a few times a month, (specifically on weekends), asking, 'What are you up to?' I'm not sure if it's a communication error or just plain disrespect, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they may think that's romantic.

"Not only are our ego's blown to pieces, we are left wondering, 'Why?' - This lack of communication skills to tell the other person what our intentions truly are. We are so ignorant to think how easy it is for us to 'swipe left', or just disappear, in case we miss the next big thing, without thinking of the other persons feeling or intentions.

"I am not whining, nor am I asking for chivalry. I am not blaming anyone, I just think that everything is becoming too 'easy'. We hide behind instant messaging, fearing the unknown of judgement, standards, and heartbreak. It's scary! And quite frankly, I am scared, especially for the upcoming generations. This is still so new and we aren't quite sure how to handle it. So let's put the phone down, and instead think about kindness, consideration, and communication."

From The Big Disconnect: "Initially, as we become oriented to the goals of competition and personal advancement, we came to believe that the casual encounters were time wasters that lowered our productivity. Today, however, we view such activities as labour intensive and fraught with interpersonal risks that promise very low rewards. In our predominantly urban lives, we are surrounded with opportunities to interact, but instead we choose to isolate ourselves, and we deploy increasingly sophisticated technologies to help us do exactly that."

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