Solving The Problem Of Student Online Relationships
By: Tim Elmore
Source: Growing Leaders
When I first studied the data on Generation Z and their habits, I was surprised to see that teen sex has decreased over the last ten years. In fact, fewer teens are engaging in sexual activity than teens in my generation back in the 1970s.
When I paused to consider why this is—I slowly understood what was happening.
More and more teens are dating online. In fact, some will date for months and never meet the other person—in person. Generation Z has grown up online and is redefining dating. The new normal is—people meet on an app, or a video game and begin to see all they have in common. It’s not hard with smart technology. Their interaction may evolve to meeting on Skype or FaceTime, but it’s all virtual.
“Liking someone’s Instagram is the modern-day equivalent of smiling at them across a crowded room. Every online service eventually becomes a chatroom—be it TikTok, Fortnite or any of the other countless distractions that allow people to connect” writes Christopher Mims of the Wall Street Journal.
“They might sound unusual: online relationships that bloom, reach a fever pitch of teenage intensity and—possibly—even wither before the two parties ever meet. But they’re becoming more common than ever. Ask any teenager—if they haven’t been in a relationship like this themselves, they can probably name friends who have.”
Nadia and Daniel are two high school seniors I know who “dated” for a year and spent all of an hour and a half together. Then—they broke up. One advantage is if you’ve only connected online, it’s easier to break up. In fact, you can “ghost” your partner and just fail to show up for any more interaction.