Dating in the Instagram Era: 10 Ways the Definition of “Love” Has Changed

What happened to love? Has it become a thing of the past, subject to us reflecting on its heyday in the mid '90s? When it was cool to lay up with your lady and not go to the club. When chivalry was appreciated and not deemed "thirst." There was a time we wanted validation from our significant other before we looked elsewhere.

Marriage has become one of the more debatable subjects in society, especially for those of us in our mid to late 20s and older. Feels like we are in a generation that sees marriage less as an investment and more as a temporary “situation” that can be dissolved with one call to your neighborhood lawyer. The time of long, late night conversations have become a mere 5 letters and an emoji in a text before one drifts off into another night of sleeping alone. The art of flirting has even changed. We are now subjected to eye candy and Instagram filters that only offer a surface-friendly satisfaction, coupled with superficial validation offered through a double tap of your screen. Sounds a bit melancholy, if you ask me.

I like to refer to these times as the “Instagram Era.” A time where updating your relationship status on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram claims more importance than solidifying the status of your personal relationships. Seems as if our obsession with each other is at an all-time high, but how we make those connections is less personal. This isn’t a problem that can’t be fixed by any means, we just have to identify the issues and work on creating solutions to spread love to everyone. Here are the 10 reasons how the definition of “love” has changed during the “Instagram Era.”

10 Instagram Models

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Instagram models are the men and women who pose for the camera in provocative places hoping to gain the attention of all those who scroll down their timelines. More or less. This new phenomenon has to be a reason we may objectify each other to this standard of beauty that most people can’t live up to on a daily basis. That being said, who doesn’t enjoy the morning Instagram yoga pants uploads? You know who you are. Meanwhile, as the rest of the world gawks at the beautiful models hoping to one day land someone as perfect as them, we continue to fall victim to a superficial love that hinders our ability to grow a formidable connection.

9 Memes of Death

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Everyone has seen the memes that circulate the internet, and although some tend to be hilarious, some of them give off a false sense of what “love” and commitment mean, or how some may perceive them. This works as a detriment to relationships. Having people tell you what a relationship is “suppose” to look like is far different than experiencing what it feels to be in a dedicated one. Love is so deep it really can’t be defined in the confines of the English language. Let the meme rules to love, loyalty, commitment rest and become love, loyalty and commitment personified. If you didn’t have a resolution, look no more.

8 Selling Beauty and Sex Appeal

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Social media has created countless opportunities for celebrities and brands to capitalize on our need to be regarded as beautiful. The clothes, jewelry and fragrances we wear have become the barometer for what appeals to the opposite sex. Sex has become one of the more important parts of a relationship. This could be a generational thing or just the American culture we live in now, but no longer are the days we get to know someone and then pursue a sexual relationship. Relationships begin in a sexual manner then we tend to rely on sex to keep the relationship going, and once that fire runs out the interest in the relationship tends to dwindle. Poof! A generation of sexually frustrated yet horny people.

7 Popularity Rules the Internet

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Now if you don’t belong in the beautiful club or stand out for a specific talent, being most popular will be your next best thing. The internet affords the opportunity to purchase your popularity or earn it through pure social media activity and dedication. Where you fall on the internet can make or break the class of people you encounter, which in reality changes how and who you will date. It truly sounds absurd, but in some circles internet popularity has opened doors, so how can I hate? The idea that the internet can define the legitimacy of a relationship should be stricken from the cosmos.

6 The Texting is the New Talking

Texting and instant messaging have transformed how we all communicate on a regular basis. The phone conversation has become the text and the text has become the instant message. Conversations have become less about how people say something and more about how fast they say it. Response time trumps substance any day (sarcasm infused). Everyone has had that awkward argument with your significant other over a simple text one of you read way out of context. These confusing moments leave a once firm relationship on the brink of a total collapse over a misunderstanding. Oh, how the world really turns. We can’t allow the confusion to distort how we show feelings toward each other.

5 Divorce is So Easy

Growing up, most couples dreaded going through the disappointment of a failed marriage. Nowadays, divorce is as common as the common cold. I literally know 3 or 4 people on their 2nd and 3rd marriages and they haven’t turned 30 years old. I am not saying to not get married but simply make sound decisions on who you make that oath with God with. Maybe I don’t understand it, after years of wallowing on the fence, I am more than certain the Mormons had it right the whole time. Then again, I could be part of the problem. We are in the times where love and marriage no longer a complement to each other.

4 Internet Offers Early Exposure to More Than Just Sex

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As kids, having a crush or boyfriend/girlfriend were the last things on our minds. We played sports outside and ran around playing tag, we didn’t have time to "like" pictures of our friends every day. The internet is available for everyone and it has become something that subjects children to internet bullies and trolls at the age of 13-14 years old. Times have definitely changed. The music of today can be very negative on the subject of love as well. Some of our biggest role models have beaten/hit their girlfriends/wives. Even some of these women beaten on their counterparts. Not the majority at all. The internet does give us the room to see what and who we want when we please. Although subtle, music has always reflected the social culture beautifully.

3 Generation of Broken Homes

Society since the 80s has sped up tremendously. Everything is done in hyper speed. We date less and get married faster. We work longer hours and spend money more quickly. Aspirations for more, a human thing, have left many homes with single parents, whether it's through incarceration or work load. A generation has been molded to believe true love is in a quote from their favorite celebrity (who probably didn’t even say it in the first place). Seeing love is the most powerful way to know how to give it to someone else and I believe people lack in that experience. What you experience as a child really plays a difference in how you appreciate and value love in your life. Fatherless homes play a major part in the way a child is molded and disciplined.

2 The End of Personal Connection

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There is nothing personal about how we meet people in society today. The internet provides an immediate medium that simply takes away the bond of liking a “vibe”. We take pride in waking up and texting the people we have interest in, but we no longer hug and kiss in the manner we did back in the day. Most human interaction these days takes place in emails and text. We can barely decipher feelings anymore. No one can take criticism and there are a lot of people who feel entitled. We rely on Facebook shares to get our information. We know more than ever with Google, YouTube and Wikipedia but we share less information than before. We filter through what we don’t want to see to satisfy our need to be inclusive with all who think like we do. No longer do we debate without arguments and respect each other’s perspective on the world. We are more connected than ever but so distant.

1 The “Bathroom” Selfie

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Over exposure is the name of the game. Why should we pursue our crushes if they give us a sample of what we can have every day for free on Instagram? This generation is fascinated with the bathroom selfie - you know, the arched back pose where they attempt to make a deep, wise caption that has nothing to do with them sitting in the mirror with their new Victoria's Secret lingerie. Lingerie they have no one else to show because they are busy showing it to the world. Crazy how the world works like that. Don’t get me wrong, this country is littered with beautiful women who I adore with a passion and I would hope to not distort their need to seek attention. If this is you, feel free to contact me, I pass no judgement and maybe I just need some clear understanding. That being said, it is a new year, maybe it is time we generate some Instagram etiquette out here. I’m not saying I am going to do it, but if it is done I would surely abide.

We are thrust full throttle into an age of technology and information prowess. We have the ability to communicate with people throughout the world with the click of a button. Facetime and Skype have made it simple to see your loved ones at any point that we feel, as long as you have good internet connection of course. These happen to be the 10 biggest reasons I think “love” has been altered over the last five to ten years. The “Instagram Era” needs reconciliation, it is time we work on creating physical and mental love with the people in our lives.

If you agree, share this post. Post a song in the comments that you think is about real love. Time to start bringing that feeling back.

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