By Sydney Fazio
For The Diamondback
This article is part of The Diamondback’s annual sex guide. Read the rest here.
From millennial to millennial, it’s easy to admit we all have a little bit of a technology addiction — young 20-somethings live and thrive in an era of self-absorption and multitasking, or at least that’s what society tells us.
So is it true that we’re all self-centered assholes who can’t spend an hour of our undivided attention on someone we’re dating? Or is it our culture?
Regardless, phones have become embedded in our everyday lives, and this affects us in all situations — including our dating lives.
Maybe typing up a quick response to a work email is acceptable if your date is given a polite heads-up. However, scrolling through Instagram and looking at the Discover page while your date is asking about your innermost thoughts and feelings — that can be a deal-breaker, especially when first impressions are on the line.
For senior Justin Derato, an environmental science and policy major, phones on dates are a “hard” no.
“Not acceptable,” Derato said. “The person you’re on a date with is more important than anything on your phone.”
However, senior Will Klajbor, an economics and environmental science and policy major, said he thinks using a phone is OK if both parties are comfortable with one another, and if it’s used as a tool.
“I think it depends contextually,” Klajbor said. “It could either be a tool, like for maps, time, things like that, or a distraction. It depends on your familiarity with the person.”
Some adults are using phones as an entirely different kind of tool, texting or calling in an effort to avoid others. Forty-seven percent of young adults said they have used their phones to avoid interaction with the people around them, according to a 2015 smartphone use study by the Pew Research Center.
Additionally, 64 percent of American adults own some kind of smartphone. This ownership is especially high among younger Americans, according to the study.
However, as we embrace phones in all other walks of life, senior Isabella Williams, a civil and environmental engineering major, said there is a place for phones on dates if you give your partner advanced warning.
“Unless you say you’re expecting a work call or for your parents to call about something important, then it’s not cool,” Williams said. “Especially if it’s someone that you haven’t been with very long, because then it just seems like you don’t care and it’s rude.”
Familiarity and comfort level can also affect what is acceptable on a date, said senior Lydia Holly, a nursing student at the Shady Grove campus. Once couples are in a committed relationship, not everything is a date and phone rules are more relaxed, Holly added.
“When you first start dating it’s like everything is a date,” Holly said. “But once you go on 150 food visits, they aren’t really dates anymore. It’s more casual, and I don’t really care if you check Facebook briefly or text someone back.”