Zoe Wilson | Correspondent

The world of dating has dramatically changed in the last few decades. If I had followed in the footsteps of my grandma, I would have gotten married last year (at 19 years old) and currently be pregnant with the first of three children. While I could not think of a more scary scenario, it was a completely normal and expected arrangement not that long ago.

The main difference between the past and current dating trends is the actual goal of dating.  Two generations ago the people who ventured out into the dating game had a marriage orientated mentality, while now people date more for fun putting thoughts of settling down with one person far back in their minds.

“Everything about dating has definitely changed since from how it was for my grandparents, and the main emphasis has shifted from getting married at an early age to now getting married later in life.  The game is shifting towards dating more people instead of settling down especially since people are more career orientated,” said sophomore Zach Guy studying business administration.

Along with dating more, people, it is now a common practice to spend a significant amount of time “talking” to a person before deciding to actually date them. The advent of “talking” has made it so that you don’t actually have to commit to someone, which means you can be involved with multiple people at one time guilt free.

The instantaneous access to each other via cell phones and text messages has altered the way people communicate with each other.  Most people spend a good amount of time on their social media channels all over the world expanding the network of people available to date. Why settle down when you have hundreds of options at your fingertips?

“While it was normal at the time for my grandparents to marry at a young age, it is now more normal for people to get married in their late twenties.  I wouldn’t mind getting married earlier in life, but I do not want to rush into a marriage now because I know it takes a good amount of time to find the right one,” said Uly Grisette, a freshman in First Year College.

Social media has impacted the mentality of many young people, creating a far more liberal attitude towards commitment as well as premarital sex.  Many movies, songs, television shows and advertisements glorify the idea of casual sex without any strings attached. This is now widely seen and practiced on most college campuses. This new gaining the nickname of “hookup culture.”

“Since everyone’s lives are displayed on such a public platform it changes the way we present ourselves to society. Social media has caused people to be more image conscious than ever and this has affected how we act in relationships, and people may base who they are interested in dating by how well they present themselves on social media,” said junior Elizabeth Reavis studying biology.

Who’s to say if “talking” and “hookup culture” are good or bad things? We are living in a time of incredible liberalism when it comes to who we date.

So enjoy your your freedom and your independence and whenever you’re ready test the relationship waters. There’s nothing wrong with a little experimentation.