Has Technology Killed Date Night?

Has the development of modern technology led to the destruction of date night, or has it merely transformed it? Date night was once an event where couples left the house, their parents, or perhaps their kids, to spend time together. Fifty years ago, inviting a significant other over to watch a television show would not be considered a date night. Going out to dinner, a movie, or even a walk in the park might have been an appropriate use of the term, but never just casually sitting on the couch.

How, then, does this tweet fit into the idea of a transforming date night?

While making some assumptions, we can see that this man has a completely different view of what date night is compared to what it once was. He uses humor to let his audience know that he is not completely serious, and that watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt from across the country is not exactly “hot.” This man does, however, tell the audience that live-texting from across the country is a bonding activity for he and his significant other. The couple believes they do not have to travel 2000 miles, or even travel from their seat in front of the television in order to have a date night.

Texting at the Table. Digital image. XKV8R. WordPress, 11 Oct. 2011. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.

The Oxford English Dictionary describes date night as “a prearranged occasion on which an established couple, especially one with children, go for a night out together.” Either this definition is becoming outdated, or the old concept of date night is becoming extinct.

Let’s say that date night is evolving. Sure, there are still couples who make the time to dress up, get a babysitter, and get out of the house, but many do not. Younger generations in particular are making the transition to stay in versus going out.

In the past, initiating a relationship typically meant getting to know another person by going out on dates, hence the development of the word “dating.” Now, dating is used as a synonym for being in a relationship, even if the couple has never even been out on a date. Couples consider themselves dating if they “hang out” and get to know one another in the casual setting of a household. Who or what is to blame for causing this change and making things so casual? The answer is, not so surprisingly, the cell phone.

In an article written in the Boston Globe in July 2009, Steve Calechman said that “keypads have been showing up too often as a third wheel.” He goes into detail about how people often mindlessly text during dates, paying no care to how their date feels about it. If texting during these once sacred social events was a problem six years ago, one can only imagine how prevalent it is today. Texting and mobile social media use have become infinitely more relevant and common in just the past couple of years, and they have obvious effects on dates.

It is your job to decide whether or not to keep the seemingly old fashioned date alive, or to let it be eaten up by social media and texting. Will you get off the couch?

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