Downfalls of the Hook Up Generation

Tinder, Bumble, Snapchat. Among many other terms, we as college students and humans in 2017 hear these phrases on a daily basis. Hook ups have become so central to our culture, it's hard to think of a time when “dating” even existed. Call me old fashioned, but I can’t help but think that this is not a step forward, but a step back; a decent amount of the time, a hook up becomes more than a hook up for at least one party. The truth is, sex or sexual acts release hormones such as oxytocin so even if he was “totally gross” and everything was “just physical,” this could explain why all of a sudden you feel attached to Bobby, the jerk from the gym.  

Hooking up, although fun in theory, can be really difficult to maneuver especially if both parties aren’t on the same page. Sometimes- lets get real, most of the time- someone isn’t as interested as the other and that can lead to some serious rude behavior. Let me tell you a little story to illustrate how far we’ve fallen in terms of respect.  One of my friends recently struck up a “thing” (god forbid I call it a relationship) with a guy she had feelings for throughout high school. Although they had been physical together, she had always stopped things before having sex because she knew that she would feel attached to him, and odds were pretty good he would make like a magician and disappear. After seeing each other and talking for a couple of months, she decided to confide in him about her fears, comparable in the amount of fun to breaking a leg or eating a live cockroach. After explaining her fears that he would disappear after he got what he wanted, he went on to say that he would “never do that” and that he wasn’t “that type of guy”. If the quotes didn’t tip you off, lets just say this story is headed downhill, quickly. A couple days later they did the deed. She felt fine about it after and was cautiously optimistic that he would keep his word. Two days later, it was her birthday and she was still waiting to hear from him. Truth be told, I never liked this guy and always thought he was exactly “that type of guy,” but I never in my wildest nightmares expected him to not only drop off the face of the earth but not even summon the respect to reach out on her birthday. Really? No HBD text, no Snapchat, no Bitmoji with a cake? Nothing? In today's world, communication is that simple, and you can’t be bothered to make a miniscule gesture that shows the person you were physically intimate with less than 48 hours ago that you are the slightest bit happy they were born? Suddenly its not even socially expected to text someone you 1. Have claimed to care about and 2. Just slept with on the actual day of their birth?

Chances are, scenarios like this don’t shock you at all, although I honestly pray that they do. Incidents like this are all too mainstream these days, and its sickening. What happened to When Harry Met Sally, A Walk to Remember, or 10 Things I Hate about You. These days its more like When Harry Swiped Right on Sally, A Snapchat to Remember, and 10 Things I Don’t Know About You. Yes, these movies are highly exaggerated love stories, but the issue still exists. Where is romance in modern times? Where is respect? Common decency? Everything seems to be backwards; you meet, you sleep together, then you sleep together on a more regular basis with some quality time before and after, and then if that goes well for multiple weeks, you consider doing it exclusively. I can’t be the only one wondering: how the hell did we get here?

Although most of the experiences I’ve had personally, or heard about from friends, show guys essentially being Hans from Frozen a la two faced as heck, I know that to a certain extent it goes both ways. There are definitely stories out there about girls ghosting guys, cheating on guys, and disrespecting guys; but they are few and far between in comparison. The main issue I have with the hook up generation is the absence of respect in the way we treat each other. Suddenly, we go from seeing people as people and instead see them as objects. Just because you slept with someone doesn’t mean that all of the expectations of basic human decency should fly out the window. I’m sure that to a certain extent, romance has always been complicated, and sexual situations have always been difficult to maneuver. I can’t help but think its worse today than ever, because of social media and all the different avenues to be ignored or disrespected.

Ending the hook up culture is not my suggestion, because truthfully that’s impossible at this point. My only hope is for some sort of respect to begin permeating its way into our hook ups. If we can start doing basic kindnesses for one another, like texting to make sure they get home safe, walking them out, or not ignoring them if you see them in public, then maybe we can regain some of the humanity that’s been lost.