Facebook changes traditional dating

Katy Hallowell

Reporter

“In a Relationship”: three words that can be shared by a Facebook user with hundreds of friends in a matter of seconds. The persona of dating is rapidly changing with the existence of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. They make starting, hiding, blatantly exposing and subsequently ending relationships as easy as the click of a button.

Teens from 8-18 years of age spend more than 53 hours a week on various types of entertainment media, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

“The Internet makes everything so much more exposed — we use it all the time,” said junior Monica Rodriguez. “From homework to Facebook and iChat, a lot more can happen in a day now.”

Teens may cram 11 hours of technology use into seven and a half by multitasking and using more than one application at a time. Along with homework and extra curricular activities, face-to-face dating is difficult to fit in, according to Rodriguez.

“Kids are so busy these days. If couples don’t go to the same schools, then there’s hardly any time to hang out,” said Rodriguez. “Facebook allows couples to talk to each other when they’re home doing homework.”

Online relationships may not be genuine, according to sophomore Nicola Forbes. Students may feel pressured to be in a Facebook relationship to “be cool.”

“Making a relationship ‘Facebook official’ by publishing it on your profile is for publicity,” said sophomore Nicola Forbes. “Relationships shouldn’t be based off of that.”

However other teens consider a relationship unofficial until it is visible for friends and family to see on Facebook.

“Everybody revolves around other people’s relationships and social lives,” said junior Shannon McInerney. “I think that Facebook makes relationships official.”

Not too many years ago a boy calling a girl and asking her out was a process that took a few minutes. Today teens date through Facebook with a series of friend requests or chats, and text messages.

“It’s turned into kids getting to know each other through a screen,” said Rodriguez.

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