Focus Group writer, Ryan, put me on to this and I must say it’s a rather succinct and pointed New York Times article on the state of dating culture in this day and age.  As a 20-something living in a world that’s now so socially driven by technology and media, I found myself nodding along in agreement or half smirking at some of the statements in some form of a silent affirmation of “Word, that’s actually pretty true.”

The article hits pay dirt with a few poignant observations that touched on how the hook up culture, along with the reliance on social media, has created a perfect storm for the informal date or “talking” phase to take form as the norm over the traditional process of dating.  In a now all too familiar scenario wherein having to communicate electronically with someone is seemingly a prerequisite to officially “dating” in the first place, we’re left with plenty instances where we don’t know how to read these individuals once we’re actually in a more intimate social setting.  I feel like, once it does get to the actual face to face point in the process, people end up having to re-work what they initially know or have gathered from that person over what their Facebook statuses or Tumblr posts have already said.  Here’s a few snippets from the article to help support such thought:

“Dating culture has evolved to a cycle of text messages, each one requiring the code-breaking skills of a cold war spy to interpret.”

“It’s one step below a date, and one step above a high-five,” she added. Dinner at a romantic new bistro? Forget it. Women in their 20s these days are lucky to get a last-minute text to tag along. Raised in the age of so-called “hookup culture,” millennials — who are reaching an age where they are starting to think about settling down — are subverting the rules of courtship.

Instead of dinner-and-a-movie, which seems as obsolete as a rotary phone, they rendezvous over phone texts, Facebook posts, instant messages and other “non-dates” that are leaving a generation confused about how to land a boyfriend or girlfriend.

And also this nugget of truth:

Indeed, being too formal too early can send a message that a man is ready to get serious, which few men in their 20s are ready to do, said Lex Edness, a television writer in Los Angeles.

“A lot of men in their 20s are reluctant to take the girl to the French restaurant, or buy them jewelry, because those steps tend to lead to ‘eventually, we’re going to get married,’ ” Mr. Edness, 27, said. In a tight economy, where everyone is grinding away to build a career, most men cannot fathom supporting a family until at least 30 or 35, he said.

“So it’s a lot easier to meet people on an even playing field, in casual dating,” he said. “The stakes are lower.”

It’s a solid article, really.  One that serves as a good barometer on how the current social scene is for us young 20-somethings.  Check out the full, interesting read HERE.