“I think that iPhones and dating apps have really changed the way that dating happens for our generation,” says Stephanie, the one with an arm full of bracelets.
“There is no dating. There’s no relationships,” says Amanda, the tall elegant one. “They’re rare. You can have a fling that could last like seven, eight months and you could never actually call someone your ‘boyfriend.’ [Hooking up] is a lot easier. No one gets hurt—well, not on the surface.”
They give a wary laugh.
They tell me how, at their school, an adjunct instructor in philosophy, Kerry Cronin, teaches a freshman class in which an optional assignment is going out on an actual date. “And meet them sober and not when you’re both, like, blackout drunk,” says Jane. “Like, get to know someone before you start something with them. And I know that’s scary.”
They say they think their own anxiety about intimacy comes from having “grown up on social media,” so “we don’t know how to talk to each other face-to-face.”