“It isn’t premarital sex if you have no intention of getting married.” – Drew Carey
“Women need a reason to have sex, men just need a place.” -Billy Crystal
Yesterday, as part of my daily routine, I was perusing the internet, looking for anything related to love, intimacy, sexuality, dating trends, etc. After all, relationships are my thing and what I regularly write about.
A recent article, written by Naomi Schaefer Riley, caught my attention. It was entitled, “Tinder is Tearing Society Apart.”
In her article, Riley writes critically about the popular app, Tinder, where men and women, mostly college types, use technology to search for available hook-ups, any sexual partners who happen to be in the vicinity.
Tinder is all about in-the-moment swiping and prowling, where, not unlike the more traditional online dating sites, where there’s always a huge sample of men and women to choose from. There’s always someone available, literally, just around the corner.
Forget about the usual dating scene, where courting a prospective partner, one date at a time, was once thought to be the norm. With Tinder, it’s faster, up front, and much more direct. As one young woman commented, “it’s straight efficiency.” You can actually schedule multiple sexual liaisons, all week long. The possibilities are endless!
Riley goes on to bemoan today’s hook-up scene, where “there is really no room for feelings in the current mating culture,” where students swipe though peoples’ pics in search of quick sex, often from the convenience of their own apartments. Not only that, but she extends all this mating doom and gloom to some current troubling trends and perspectives related to the institution of marriage.
In a nut shell, she believes that these habitual (addictive?) quickie hook-ups will eventually lead to distorted thinking about love and marriage.
The Tinder Effect
Riley calls this destructive byproduct of quickie culture the “Tinder Effect,” and cautions that “this is more than a dating apocalypse. This is the marriage apocalypse. All of this endless swiping is producing men and women who have an infinite choices of sexual partners with no strings attached. This can’t go on long before it has a serious effect on how you view members of the opposite sex.”
There’s no question that she believes that the American Dream and the foundation of marriage are currently under fire, and that this “Tinder Effect” could have a serious effect on how younger people view members of the opposite sex.
She goes on to explain that the middle class conception of the American Dream, getting a good education, securing a decent job, buying a house, getting married right out of college, and then having kids, is being questioned by more than just a few millennials.
Add to this plummeting marriage rates (trending down since the 70’s), with couples waiting longer and longer to tie the knot, and Riley may have a good argument for her concerns about today’s “phone-in” multiple sexual hook-ups.
The Tinder Effect’s Effect
Riley describes the Tinder Effect, with regards to today’s dating culture, as a definite game changer, and not a good one.
She also believes that, due to the Tinder Effect, women are “being used” and men “are allowed to live in a perpetual adolescence and never find out what it means to put effort into a relationship.”
Like it or not, Tinder seems to be yet another reflection of today’s “I want it now” Western culture; yet another social phenomenon, where anything can be achieved with a mere click of the computer mouse.
On the Other Hand…
On one hand, this is hardly the same world where our grandparents innocently met at the malt shop or at the Saturday night dance. And this is certainly a complete about-face from the days when marriages were prearranged, and long-term partnerships and growing happy families were the order of the day.
As alarming as Riley’s commentary may seem, I believe there are many out there who still believe in old fashion romance, where meeting someone and getting to know them, one step at a time, is not only preferable, but maybe, in terms of lasting love, the best way to go.
On the other hand, this is 2015, and the subject of sex seems to be going through an interesting evolution.
Sure, one may see Tinder as a mere manifestation of the today’s hi-tech pursuit of casual sex, a mindless online infatuation, destined to go nowhere.
But, if you think about all this with an open mind, maybe getting all this casual, infatuated sex out of your system, could actually clear the way and allow you to make better decisions when the right person does comes along for a long-term partnership.
Is the institution of marriage still alive and well? Hmm…
Also, we need to consider and be open minded to the rise of today’s “sex positive culture,” and the newer and more sophisticated language off alternative sex exploration.
In my mind, it’s all about peoples’ personal preferences and our ever-changing society.
Then again, after contemplating her very thought-provoking article, Naomi S. Riley does make a good case – and a damn good one, at that!
How are you trending these days?
What do you think about today’s hook-up culture, especially phone apps like Tinder? Can this latest social phenomenon impact how younger types will think about marriage, about true and lasting romance? Or, is this just alarmist thinking? Is the sex positive culture taking over? We’d like to hear your ideas on this increasingly controversial subject. Just leave your feedback in the comment section below. Thanks for your input!