This I Believe

James - San Luis Obispo, California
Entered on February 9, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that technology has ruined the art of finding a date. There was a time when men had to conjure up the courage to approach a girl and ask her on a date; a time where asking a girl out over the phone was not possible. A lot has changed since my parent’s generation, where double dating was the trick to relieving their nerves. Today, the idea of asking a girl out on a date or vice versa has completely changed. The nervous butterflies are still there, but are easily taken away by the thought of asking through an email or a text message. The fear of denial is significantly weakened because you aren’t actually hearing the word “NO”. Technology obviously has created many perks in society, but it harms an important part of growing up and maturing.

As a member of a fraternity at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I would call myself a rather social person. The “Greek Scene” allows me to socialize with hundreds of different students on a weekly basis. Naturally, after mingling with some of the same people, closeness forms. Recently, my friend, one of the most social girls I know, was sitting in class with me, brainstorming about who she could take to her date party. I threw out a few names, which were apparently unsatisfactory to her. We finally settled on a mutual friend of ours, someone we had both known for a few years. She sent him a text to ask him to the party and it was settled, they were going on a date. In general, the whole idea of text messaging and emailing feels so impersonal. People need to interact in person to develop and constantly improve their social skills. In previous generations, every man or woman was forced to ask their counterpart on a date. Whether the answer is “yes” or “no”, just asking the question helps make a person stronger and more confident.

Obviously some people are extremely shy and have trouble reaching out to others. Being able to speak over the internet or through a text message may gain them friends, perhaps a girlfriend. Eventually, a face to face encounter must happen and it would be back to step one again. Asking a person out on a date should be a slight risk, but that risk brings exaltation when the outcome turns out well. New technology has taken this risk away from many people. I believe that everyone’s social skills would improve if we took a step back to our parent’s generation of dating.