Quaran-teen: How self-isolation helped me reflect on my past self

Quarantine has allocated a majority of my day towards introspection. Specifically, on who I was, who I have become, and who I want to be. I decided to delve into who Amy ‘was’ (since I have all the time in the world) by reading old articles I wrote for my high school journalism class and assessing why my perspective has changed.

Below is an article I wrote about the age of technology and dating. My thesis was: screenagers and millenials have gone to dating apps to locate their soulmate; however, this connection is artificial. After the article, I will explain why my thoughts have changed since being in college.

“As a teenage woman, the topic of conversation amongst friends tends to lead to boys — shocker, I know. However, when my friends inform me that the guy they met and have talked to for an extended period of time is someone they met online on an app like Instagram or Tinder, I am surprised. First, how do you know the person is who he says he is? Second, has society come to a point where it is so hard to meet the person in real life that this is a better option? I mean, our parents and grandparents did it, so why can’t we?

Social media has connected billions of people in the world today. Social media provides instantaneous news, updates, notifications, and photos of people from all over the world. So, it makes sense that social media is like speed dating. Just like a beeper going off reminding the singles to move onto the next person at a speed dating event, social media provides the same security. By hiding behind a screen, if you don’t care for the person you are currently chatting with, you are able to leave the conversation as soon as possible.

If social media is supposed to connect us, why has society become less social, therefore resorting to dating apps? One may think that the creation of dating apps is to capitalize on this new market of digitalization and to compensate for the growing world. Hiding behind a screen, not physically conversing with the person you are dating until the first date, seems like some strange TLC show. Online dating presents us with the paradox society is dealing with right now: how to make connections in a less connected society.

There’s no one answer to this problem. But, there are solutions. Look up from your phone, engage in conversation, meet new people and who knows, maybe that person is the next special someone or a really good friend.”

Maybe it is just quarantine, but college Amy finds nothing wrong with using dating apps. I have never used a dating app, but I see the instant gratification and amusement behind ‘matching’ with someone or making fun conversation. Personally, I think that is the beautiful side of technology. It’s a platform created to connect people from all over the world and I am sure our grandparents would be swiping right or left if this technology was created in their day (a departure from my previous opinion that technology isn’t necessary to find a soulmate).

However, I still agree with my high school opinion that there is this increased reliance on social media that serves as a barrier to potentially connecting in-person with anyone. I think this physical barrier, known as the virtual screen, acts as a defensive layer from the possibility of interacting with people, making human connections, and forming relationships. 

I still am a huge proponent of meeting and making friends in person, rather than online, but now especially during quarantine, options are limited.

Who knows, maybe my opinion will change again in the next stage of my life. But, after quarantine, I encourage you to engage with the outside world because your unread messages, unopened ‘streaks’ on Snapchat, and new posts on Tik Tok’s ‘for you page’ will always be there.