In today’s app-happy world, finding love is as easy as the swipe of a finger. Conditioned to socialize online as young adults, these 18 to 34 year olds are now taking the same approach to finding partners.
In 2013, The New York Times decried the so-called “end of courtship” brought on by social media, blaming younger Americans for a distinct decrease in people “picking up the telephone and asking someone on a date,” an act that in the past “required courage, strategic planning, and a considerable investment of ego.” While dating apps may be changing the way potential lovers communicate, the Times’s piece overlooked a huge community that has in many ways benefited from the rise of digital dating-the LGBT community.
Unlike their straight counterparts, LGBT millennials don’t always have the same opportunities for the traditional courtship behaviors the Times is so intent on eulogizing. Indeed, for LGBT singles in conservative families or communities, online dating may be the only safe way to meet potential suitors.
For a generation raised in front of LED screens, it’s only logical that technology now plays such a huge part in the adult love lives of millennials (and plenty of non-millennials as well)
While gay rights, especially same-sex marriage protections, have made tremendous progress in the past few years, political headway isn’t always the same as cultural tolerance. A 2014 poll commissioned by GLAAD found that roughly a third of straight respondents felt “uncomfortable” around same-sex couples displaying PDA. A similar study conducted in 2014 by researchers at Indiana University found that while two-thirds of straight respondents supported legal rights for lesbian and gay couples, only 55% approved of a gay couple kissing on the cheek.
It can be hard, especially for America’s more liberal demographic, to reconcile such statistics with their personal world views.