Our class’ definition of hookup culture connects to my personal definition because it includes everyone. I think often because we live in such a diverse world we tend to forget that we have a lot of shared experiences. When it comes to hooking up, I don’t think it’s any different. It doesn’t matter what race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation you identify as, the definition of hooking is relatable to some degree.
This week’s topic of the social communicative aspects of hookup culture really resonated with me. As someone with horrible social anxiety, it is hard meeting people and initiating a hookup with them in person. On apps like snapchat I am more comfortable initiating hookups because the apps give me the feeling of having somewhat of a protective barrier or shield. On snapchat I’m able to flirt and say things I would probably never be able to say in person. I don’t use tinder, but from what I’ve heard a lot of people are more forward on the app about what they want than they would be in person.
My group’s key points for the groups category was that a lot of “other” groups aka people who aren’t seen in mainstream media are always usually left out in surveys and research regarding hookup and or dating culture. This is a problem because it causes people within those “other” categories to be confused about what they should actually be doing because there’s no data that focuses on them. As for the social/communicative categories my group found that because of social media apps the dating/ hookup pool for individuals have been expanded globally. Social media apps like twitter, grindr, and tinder make it possible to meet people all over the world. Whether these people are far or near social media enables us to meet individuals that we, otherwise wouldn’t have met and it allows us to meet these people from the safety of our homes.
As someone who is taking a break from hookup culture, I’ve found that it’s almost inescapable. Although I don’t go out much anymore, guys on this campus still somehow find me on twitter. They come into my direct messages with something very innocent and casual such as a compliment and within two days of us talking they get blocked. They usually do a 180 and start trying to meet up with me to `hang out”. It’s annoying, i feel like i can’t even make genuine friendships with guys because they always try to overstep the “PLATONIC” boundaries I’ve set.
During the first two weeks of class, we created our definition of “hookup” culture. Our definition was: a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment. The social and communicative side of hookup culture relates to this definition in many ways. First off, consensually. Giving and getting consent from a hookup partner(s) is very important. Secondly, staying safe and protected. STDs and unplanned pregnancies are big risks in hookup culture. Thirdly, meeting on dating apps. Almost all hookups begin with social media apps due to this generation’s rise in technological connection. Fourthly, the use of drugs and alcohol in aid of the hookup. And lastly, ghosting. To me, this definition is pretty important. Even though I am not engaged in hookup culture because I am in a committed relationship, I want to make sure both parties feel safe in the environment. This means that consent is given and received all around. I also want to stay protected from STDs so I need to communicate with my partner and make sure they are clean. Another thing I make absolute sure of is that my partner is aware of the contraception I want to use, I don’t plan on getting pregnant anytime soon and wouldn’t want to. Personally, I don’t prefer the use of dating apps. This is because I think that members are just judging others by their looks before their personality. Regarding ghosting, I don’t think it’s a problem, I just think it’s people being rude.
Now that we have gotten my “Agree” and “Disagree” out of the way, I can go in depth with why I prefer these things. I truly believe that the only way to make a relationship work is to have equal feelings across all members involved. My boyfriend and I live by that. We keep each other involved in what we want. This is why consent, contraception, and STDs aren’t a problem. He knows and agrees with everything I want to do. We are both clean and are loyal to each other. We also understand where we are on having kids and don’t plan on it happening anytime soon.
My Team is doing a survey for this category. This is because my team and I want to try surveying people around our campus of different races, ethnicities, genders, and sexualities. This way, we can make connections of how different people view the communication and social scene of hookup culture. We want to ask questions regarding their thoughts on dating apps, friends with benefits, sexting, ghosting, consent, social media, alcohol, drugs, and opportunities for hooking up. This will give us a clear understanding of what they believe in regards to hooking up and why they think that way. We also found a few articles and a book that discuss all the topics we want to cover in the survey. I found a particular article very interesting. They discuss many topics that most women face when it comes to engaging in hookup culture. In particular, the New York Times slapped their readers across the face with the thought that you are meeting up with a complete stranger (Lett 2018). The idea of this is terrifying to me, but I am guilty of calling Uber drivers to drive me around. The fact that I am not seeing the problem with getting in a complete stranger’s car is terrifying. Now think about stepping into a complete stranger’s home.
I can recall one time I was ghosted. I was talking to this person for a while and thought that it would go farther than just a few weeks. She was a year older, so I figured she was too cool for me anyway. After a few days of her not texting me back, I figured I’d text her “what’s up.” Took me another few days to realize she ghosted me (lol). I wasn’t too hurt because again, I figured she was too cool for me. I think it’s just rude and annoying that people ghost, but it’s also the fault of the other person not guarding themselves.
Our definition of hookup culture does not really explicitly discuss social/communicative but it is affected by every aspect of it. You cannot have a hookup without communication or engaging in social activities because you need to talk to a person to have intercourse/relations with a person. Our definition of social/communicative involves ghosting and friends with benefits etc. I agree with every aspect that we discussed in the category of social/communicative. I most relate to the question of ghosting. Why should you care if you’re ghosted after a hookup? It was just a hookup? But I feel like it’s always more than a hookup, which is an opinion not many people share with me.
A while ago, I had a conversation with a friend about STDs. Because of our terrible sexual education in middle school and high school, people that I know never thought they had to legally disclose STDs with a potential partner. To be honest, it has caused many issues in the past with people I know. In my experiences, I’ve only gotten with virgins and I always know their parents, so I was always pretty sure they were clean of STDs. However, if I were to get with someone that had previous partners, I would ask them immediately to get an STD test prior to hooking up with them! It is something that is very important to me and it is so much better to be more open at the beginning then to get into a situation you cannot escape from or cure. To me, it seems like people avoid having awkward conversations with strangers, but it feels just as difficult as having sex with a stranger so I guess in my opinion it is just easier to have the awkward conversation before potentially changing your life forever!
Our sources for social/communicative were vast. Most of our sources come from one large Tumblr page that has a bunch of photos and visuals regarding hooking up and being just friends. We also focused on dating apps and found a source that describes how hooking up and dating apps are related to each other and how they are not. However, the study focuses mostly on women when we need to focus on all genders in our study. I am unsure if it is specific about sexual orientation or race etc but it is a helpful source. It does not discuss hookup culture as a whole and we need to focus on that more than one specific gender.
Like I previously discussed, I only hookup with virgins. That being said, my opinions and experiences seem to be distinctly different than everyone else in our class. I have never personally used social media or apps like Tinder to meet people or especially not to hook up with someone so I have no experience with that! I do feel like it affects me though because all of my closest friends do use Tinder and other dating apps to meet people and to potentially hookup with them. Ghosting is also not really a part of my life in the aspect of hooking up. I also have not heard of any of my friends really being ghosted after hooking up with someone so unfortunately I am not knowledgeable about that either. FWB is a big one that I feel like most people have contemplated doing before. Personally, I do NOT drink or do drugs and then hookup with people because I am a big believer in the fact that you cannot consent intoxicated.
The social and communicative category for the past two weeks has reinforced my knowledge about the contemporary understanding of hookup culture, and I would say that it’s made me reflect on how I’ve navigated the elements in my past hook-up experiences. As we’ve discussed in class, hook-up culture and its practices in the 21-century has constantly evolved and currently holds a normalized position in topics of sex and intimacy. I think technology plays a large role in this as it can provide social networking platforms for people to interact and connect with each other and thus reflects public opinion on topics people actively engage in.
An element that immediately stuck out to me in this category was “social media” as this was a core method I’ve utilized in order to hook up with people in the past; I downloaded Tinder during the summer of my sophomore year as during that time I decided for myself that I wanted to gather “experiences” with other people. When looking back to how I utilized the app, I think what I both appreciated and disliked about Tinder was that there was already a narrative constructed around the purpose of the app and therefore I never felt forced to explain why I was using it. When I matched and interacted with a man-identifying person on the app, for example, there was always a tone of suggestive flirting from them that ranged from a compliment on my profile/appearance to explicit language of wanting to have sex with me. Originally this made me uncomfortable because when I first started on the app, I simply wanted to learn how to talk to people, but as I became accustomed to the men on the app, and their immature communication skills, I knew what to expect if I were to meet with someone and I could determine the kind of hook-up experience I wanted out of them.
Removing the face-to-face aspect of talking to people in order to hook-up also served me well when using social dating apps as I was able to be selective with who I talked to on the app which was based on who I swiped right on and matched with. Such ability reminds me of the conversations we had in class when addressing the “game” aspect of hooking up. I would say that hooking up is a game; you have to be willing to dedicate time and effort towards communicating with people you’re attracted to and potentially sustaining casual sex. Going back to the men I interacted with on the app, it was always interesting to me how regardless of how well-rounded their profile seemed, or how gentlemen-like they were when communicating to me, they all found a way to bring the conversation to towards the topic of sex, but this wasn’t always a bad thing especially if I was also interested. I loved the fact that I was automatically matched with a person that had some sort of sexual interest towards me because at the baseline of our interaction I knew I could attain sex if I wanted to; people that became unattractive to me could easily be removed from me by a simple delete. What came after the convenience of mutual sexual attraction though was sustained communication in order for the hook up to actually happen. A con to online dating is that people get bored very easily, and regardless of how attractive I found someone to be, if I didn’t keep up with entertaining them, then the hook-up would fall short. My experiences speak directly to what Nancy Jo Sales speaks about in her “Hit it and Quit It” section of her paper as there are many steps involved when trying to keep someone engaged with you online because people are aware of how they can access better profiles that are more interesting than yours. Accepting the narrative that “Tinder is a hook-up app” made seeking a hook-up easier because it allowed me to avoid awkward sex conversations with strangers/people I knew, and it also presented new challenges in keeping up with the infinite abundance of people who are willing to hook up.
When reflecting on the work that my team did for this week’s category, think we did a good job of speaking on what we agreed and disagreed with when thinking through Bogle and Wade’s opinions on the social dynamics imbedded in hooking up. We collectively acknowledged how there wasn’t much said about social media in the books, and we figured that this was because things like dating apps weren’t as prevalent in the years the books were published, and I personally think that because of this, their stances on the gendered interaction in hooking up was a little dated. For example, Bogle’s piece on women being more emotional and seeking validation for potential hook-ups is partially true, because I think both men and women partake in the emotional and acceptance aspect of hooking up. In regard to the social concept that there needs to be approval/permission for women to participate in hooking up, I think it has some validity in that other women’s approval of a potential partner can increase one’s participation in hook up culture. Having friends back up a decision can make a person more willing to act, and therefore persuade them into making a move on someone, but once again this is evident male and female circles. If I matched with someone I was still unsure of, I would show some of my friends their profiles to get their take on them; many of my guy friends have used me to look at people they wanted to have sex with or asked me for advice towards how to talk to a certain person they thought were attractive.
I also appreciated the work my group put forth in our “podcast” for Assignment 3 because we reflected a lot about the sources we compiled from Assignment 1, and had critical conversations about what we understand so far. One person in our group brought up the concept of meaninglessness in hooking up online in dating apps, and this really made me rethink how I understood meaning in my hooking up experiences. Though I understood my hook-ups to be temporary, I wouldn’t define all of them as meaningless because I personally find meaning through the intimacy/ overall connection I share with people even if that connection is centered on sex. If anything, I think I learned more about how in the year 2020, dating apps are almost synonymous with hooking-up, and I think we could add on this recognized truth in our definition. It’s clear that pre-hooking up can take place through both real-world social interactions and digital ones, and since we’re in this age of technological advancement, we should acknowledge its ever-expanding influence on how people hook-up.
With our class definition of “hookup” and the elements and subcategories that we came up with, I have learned a lot up to this point (about hookup culture in general and also about myself). The past two weeks, we’ve focused on the category of “social/communicative”, and this element has posed some questions and topics that really resonate with me personally.
As far as research goes for this subcategory, my team and I have really just been sharing a lot of personal experiences and stories in order for all of us to learn more and expand our horizons on the subject. It was a bit uncomfortable and even a little bit embarrassing for me at first (even though I’m very comfortable with my teammates at this point), but eventually, in the end, it felt really good to talk to someone about all of those Tinder hookups gone wrong.
An enormous aspect of the social/communicative element of hookup culture is, as mentioned before, the dating/hookup app Tinder (there are other apps that come into play as well such as Bumble and Hinge, but Tinder is the biggest one and the one I have the most personal experience with). I have been using Tinder since my freshman year here at Michigan State (I’m a sophomore now), and I’ve definitely had my fair share of negative experiences. In fact, when I really started to reflect on, I realized that I don’t think I’ve had one positive outcome from using Tinder. I have met guys who have made me feel shameful, taken advantage of me, and used me. Basically, most of my Tinder encounters have made me feel like shit, for lack of a better description.
With that being said, even though Tinder usually makes me feel really negatively about myself in the end, I tend to keep getting sucked back into it because it’s such a huge part of hookup culture, especially in college. All of my friends are always using it, and it almost turns into this fun type of game. Who doesn’t love drunkenly swiping through different guys on a Friday night and seeing what kinds of matches you can get?
Based on personal experience and from what I’ve heard from my classmates and also my friends, Tinder also seems to create a lot of confusion between people that can lead to hurt feelings. Even though Tinder is notoriously just a “hookup app”, sometimes the boundaries and labels are still unclear when meeting up with someone from Tinder. This is especially true when you meet up with the same Tinder hookup repeatedly for extended periods of time. Deep down, I knew it was just a hookup and I didn’t really have a right to have any romantic feelings, but I still found myself feeling jealous and not good enough when he would post a Snapchat story with another girl.
With all of this being said, I think communication in hookup culture tends to just be really blurred and not clear enough. Are we friends with benefits? Are we only here for the benefits? Are we more than just a hookup? What are we? All of these questions come with hookup culture, whether we like to admit it or not, and apps like Tinder do nothing but fuel those issues (in my personal opinion).
The category of Social/Communicative doesn’t really connect with our class definition because we sort of generalized what a hookup is just to define it, leaving the specific categories to be discussed in our book. In today’s day and age though, the social/communicative aspect of a hookup is sort of habitually known through previous experience or from a friend that has experienced it. I’ve even noticed that the catchphrases people use to “slide into people’s DMs” constantly get developed and are changed all the time. Ghosting is something that comes with hooking up with someone because most of the time, the sex is just for sex and nothing more.
Throughout history, dating has always been a thing that is on every young adult’s mind because everyone is trying to get cuffed (slang for in a relationship) sooner or later. This week’s categories of social/communicative really show how dating has changed over the past years, and a lot of it has to do with people wanting to get married later in their life compared to older generations where people got married very young. Social media has made today’s generation shallow, in a sense, because we are getting a first impression of a person through pictures online and deciding if one would “smash or pass” (hookup). I guess this resonates with me when I get lonely and I want dating to go back to the old days of meeting face to face, but then sometimes I get in the mood of hooking up and there I am thanking social media for making hooking up easier.
For this week’s category, our external sources sort of came from other group members previous experiences and what social media apps we’ve used in the past since we’re sort of living in the hookup age. We did look up statistics about hooking up and we stumbled upon a blog that had information about the most used types of social media apps.
As previously stated, I have a love/hate relationship with social media because while it is easy and accessible for a hookup, sometimes I wish it wasn’t when I’m you get in the mood to date. Although it does provide a good insight about someone’s looks, it sucks because we don’t know the other person’s true intentions with you unless you ask about it, even if you don’t want to know the answer sometimes. But usually hookups followed with ghosting is fine because you both know what you want and nothing more.
Although hookup culture is not considered a new phenomenon, the digital age has transformed the way we perceive and engage in it. With the rise of social media and dating apps in the past years, hooking up has become more convenient and easier than before. When we review our definition of hookup culture in relation to this category, there may be some contradiction. For this course we included the term intimate in our definition however, researchers feel that social media and dating apps have contributed to a decline in intimacy.
Dating apps and social media provides individuals with the ability to essentially hide behind a screen. This prevents any opportunity to truly get to know another person since they are being perceived solely based on the persona they provide. One of the sources my group found through research was a documentary that highlighted various aspects of hooking up in the digital age. A particular segment of the documentary that sparked my interest was a discussion that highlighted how profiles on social media and dating apps are mainly guided by physical appearance. This would help explain why there is a decline in intimacy since people are more focused on physical appearance rather than personality. This also could explain why ghosting has become so popular.
Most things covered within this category has been very relevant due to belonging to a generation that grew up in the digital age. The issues discussed and highlighted over the past two weeks are considered norms to me and simply a part of everyday life. After watching the segment from the documentary on hookup culture, I realized how much we focus on physical appearance which could explain why some individuals are disappointed when they finally meet someone in-person due to them not living up to the idea of them that had been conceptualized. Although I engage in hookup culture via social media and dating apps, I prefer in-person interactions. This prevents a person from hiding behind a screen and you are able to better conceptualize them, taking into account their personality and physical appearance collectively.
In the college scene, I believe hook up culture is most prominent at parties or at the bars. At these places dancing might be a common thing, and Wade says that dancing initiates hooking up. I believe that is truthful, but there is a lot of instances that this is not the case. She goes on to say that there are other interactions that are not just from dancing. Of course when you are at these places each person will be with their friends. Usually when talking to someone you potentially want to hook up with, you look to your friend. Mostly, if the friends of the girl agree with the girl, then they’re more willing to go home with someone. “A silent confirmation.” Basically every time I have talked to a girl at a party, there is always a yes or no from friends, and they usually all collectively agree. I don’t think guys need that confirmation from friends, but their friends may say something if the girl is not within what they think the guys standards are.
I think the social side of hookup culture is the most important one. The place that you meet the other person, your first interactions, and anything that happens after. It is very true that alcohol impacts hookup culture and it just goes hand-in-hand with partying where most people end up finding somebody.
At the beginning of the semester we all had multiple discussions on how to get a definition of hookup culture that the class all relatively agreed with. This definition as I’ve said in my past reflective narrative, is very broad and I don’t have any big problems with it. I would say that there are situations where commitment is involved like in the instance of a ‘friends with benefits’ situation. Although this is just my personal definition interfering, I figured I should still mention it. Other than that there is nothing that I disagree with pertaining to the social/communicative category.
Throughout history there has always been a means for linking up and finding people to hook up with. In the past this could have been a physical place, but now it is a digital place. People can much more easily look through people that want to link up and who already think you’re attractive. These apps and the rise of internet communication as a whole, has been a game changer in terms of hookup culture. I’m not sure what the future holds for hookup culture but it’s only going in one direction.
As a group when we were gathering sources we decided that a graph would suit our needs and direction best. The graph we chose depicts the percentage use of alcohol and marijuana in a sexual encounter with partner groups spanning from stranger to someone with an established romantic partner. This graph does a good job of showing the steep decline in substance use correlating with the length of the relationship and history. This outcome is most likely due to the societal norms to drink on the first date or when hooking up so in that lens it isn’t an odd thing to see but I didn’t expect marijuana to fluctuate the way that it does and I would like to look further into this to possibly find and answer. I believe this source could even be used in the book to show the reader that there really is a correlation that shows this link within hookup culture.
My personal experience with the social/communicative side of hookup culture, is quite open. I have been engaged in dating apps and social media for potential hookups and I think that this is a very normal thing for many other students here at MSU and people my age in general. I wouldn’t say that I’m unique by using these apps and it does make things much easier and everyone tends to be on the same page while using apps like that. I would say that there are still some advantages to meeting people in public as opposed to through apps but I have seen many different things come from apps like tinder so I believe that it depends on your personal goals and what you want for yourself.
I would define “hookup” in a similar way that we did so in class. I think that it is correct in saying consensual and agree that hookups are always intimate. As we discussed the topic of social/communicative throughout this week, I think that it is important to pause and highlight “consensual” in our definition. As humans, we know that there are many ways of communicating with others. Through body language, eye glances, speech, hand gestures, and of course today through technology. Receiving or giving consent to/from someone is something that I think should be limited to one way of communication-speech. Because so often misinterpretations can occur and the one method which truly allows radical transparency is through speaking honestly to another individual. This is something that in my personal definition I would include as to what kind of communication consent should be.
One thing that particularly resonated with me throughout this week’s discussion is the idea of falsely communicating your intentions or self through social media and technology. It is so easy to hide behind a screen and to post photos that imply something completely different. I often have conversations with my mom where she sees some of my friends’ photos on Facebook or Instagram and questions me as to what their intentions are. Some assumptions she has shared with me is that they are “looking for attention” or “communicating that they live a vicarious lifestyle” or “what would their future employer think”. She often goes on to say, “Now I know I’m old but there are so many more factors that play a role in your career and people you attract”. While I am just used to scrolling through Instagram and seeing girls my age posing a certain way in bikinis, my mom is absolutely right. In knowing that there are so many perspectives around us and methods of communication, it’s eye opening as to how careful and transparent you must always try to be throughout social media and in life.
My team and I had a great discussion this week regarding the concept of “ghosting.” We talked about how it is so common in the hookup culture around us. The very fact that it exists allows us to feel insecure in relationships from the beginning. We worry about the possibility that we could develop the titles of “needy” or attached.” Having this predisposition and constant stress is saddening and does not allow relationships to develop healthily majority of the time. A story was shared about how an individual has as roommate who has been talking to a guy for a year now, and they are exclusive but not dating. Yet, she fears and panics every night that his taking 2 hours to respond to her is him “ghosting” her. She lives in this constant limbo of not knowing what tomorrow will bring. I hope that people will being to stand up to this stigma and break the norm, because relationships are supposed to be fun and most importantly in my eyes, a friendship.
The scenario above is something that I have definitely experienced to an extent. I have been in those “relationships” where you have to wait a certain about of time before texting the other individual because you do not wish to seem “too desperate” or “needy”. It is not fun to be in that position or have to worry about that especially when you just want to talk to the person. I soon became tired of it and just practically said “fuck it,” if he thinks that me wanting to talk to him is asking too much then he can hit the road. I think that as women it is important to have standards for yourself that you know will not contribute in a positive way to your mental health and stand by them no matter what is expected of you. This is definitely something that I feel is necessary to communicate and how found it to be very beneficial to do so.
Our definition of hookup culture fits very well with my personal definition as it relates to the topic of social/communicative. First, I connect with the part of the definition that states that hookup culture is “consensual,” because I think that the two or more people participating in it have to fully agree and consent to this in order for it to classify as a hookup. The people participating need to communicate their intentions, whether it is in person or over text, and need to make sure they are both in agreement on what is going to occur. “Consensual” means that the people agree to the hookup, however this does not address the feelings or emotions that the hookup may cause the people to feel. The consensual nature does not assure that both people will feel neutral about the other people during/after the hookup, which is what a hookup is supposed to be; hence the another part of the definition I agree with, “without commitment”. This causes distorted feelings and emotions, and where the term “friends with benefits” originates from, stemming from the social/communicative subgroup. It is hard to clearly communicate your feelings for another person during a hookup, because you are both expected to feel neutral about one another. Some of the time, this doesn’t happen, and people can get hurt. One part of the definition I do not agree with is the “sexual” component. I don’t think a hookup necessarily has to involve a sexual act, as I know many people who will say they have hooked up without having sex. Again, this all falls back to communicating with what the intentions are.
Referring to the social/communicative category with history, I can see a lot of differences, as well as some similarities. One major difference between hookups now and in history is how people meet the people they want to hook up with. In history, the only way to meet someone you wanted to hook up with was meeting them in person; maybe at a party, event, at the bar, or a mutual friend. There was no other way than talking to them in person. In addition, meeting people to hook up with in history seemed a lot less casual than now, as we were shown people very dressed up at social events to meet one another. Nowadays, if you want to meet someone to hook up with, the opportunities are endless. You can always meet someone in person at a social event, but social media seems to be the predominant way to meet someone to hook up with. Some outlets people use are Instagram, snapchat. Tinder, and bumble to name a few. These options on social media to meet people to hook up with were not available in history, and I think that they have fueled hookup culture and make it as easy as ever to meet and hook up with someone. I think that social media plays a huge role in general with this as well, as people are able to see every aspect of someone’s life online, and can judge whether they want to hook up with them or not. For example, in history, all you had was what you heard or knew about the person, and what you could tell from meeting them. Now with social media, you can judge and decide if the person would be right for you to hook up with based on not just what you see or know about them, but also about what their social media perceives them to be. I think that social has made it easier and has given people more opportunity to hook up. Lastly, one way hookup culture has changed through the years is the amount that drinking has to do with the culture. Now, it seems like hookups are almost always associated with drinking and partying, and are very casual. In history, it seems like drinking did not play as much of a role in hooking up, and depending on how far you go back in history, it seems like social settings with alcohol are a lot more formal than what we see today.
For the social/communicative category, our team used an article titled “Taking Parties Seriously: Gendered Sexuality and Hookup Culture at Greek Social Events.” Our team found both pros and cons to this article. Firstly, although this article has a lot to do with the social/communicative category, as people are socializing at parties, it also takes into account different groups involved in a hookup. It subcategorized people by gender, sexuality, college students, people who party, and people who are part of Greek life- and their take on hookup culture. Differentiating between these groups gives us a unique view on hookup culture. Furthermore, some good things about this article was it specifically focused on Greek life on college campuses and Greek parties, which gave us great insight into this group and how they socialize. It also relates to our class very much, as we are all college students. It puts into perspective what social cues this group may use to initiate a hookup. Some not so good things about this article include it only focusing on parties and the social cues that occur at parties to hook up. It does not take into account the overall social/communicative cues someone may have to hook up not at parties or under the influence. It also focuses only on Greek life and parties, where there are many other places (bars, other parties, etc.) where communicating to hook up is just as prevalent as hooking up from Greek events.
From my personal experience of hookup culture, the social/communicative category plays a large role. Like I said in my previous reflection, I used to participate in hookup culture a lot my freshman year, but have strayed away from it due to losing interest in temporary “things” and my emotions being confused. Firstly, I have no experience meeting people through social media. I have only met the people I hooked up with through other people, at social events, at parties, or even in my classes. I know social media is a good way to meet people if you are specifically looking to do this, but I wasn’t exactly out to find someone, it would just happen. I experienced a lot of negative effects from hooking up, as I would gain feelings for the other person that they didn’t feel back, or vice versa. This led to ghosting on either my part or theirs, which is not a good feeling to have from either end. I really did not like it, and decided I did not need the stress of being confused or hurting someone, so I don’t participate as often. As regards to substances and hooking up, I think that a lot of people who hook up are under the influence, as I have been there myself. I think parties play a huge role in initiating hook ups, but being under the influence while doing this can cause other negative benefits as well, such as not being 100% in control of your actions or socializing with someone you don’t know.
From the topics we have discussed and the knowledge I gained in the first two weeks of our class, I believe that our definition of hook-up culture is reflective of the social and communicative groups we have discussed. In discussing the aspects of social and communicative groups, as well as the roles they play in regards to hook-up culture. One very interesting question that was brought up in discussing these groups was the reasoning behind ghosting. Why is ghosting a possibility when a hook-up is a pre-disclosed, no-strings-attached agreement?
I believe the answer is difficult, but at the same time understandable. The different and confusing stages of hooking up is what brings room for ghosting. Since there is no emotions affiliated, there is also not much emphasis on effective communication. Many people ghost in anticipation of cutting off feelings they believe the other person may have been catching, even if this was not the case at all. Similarly, not a lot of people can deal with constant physical intimacy with a person and have no feelings towards them, especially if the hook up is satisfactory.
Throughout the past few weeks we have developed and discussed what hookup culture is. I really related to the class definition of “hookup” because it personally followed my beliefs of hooking up. Not only this; I also believe that the definition of hooking up is fluid and that also relates to my definition. I think that the definition being fluid allows individuals to identify and find their place inside the culture. This allows for everyone to connect on some level within the community. This all leads back to the connection people want from others.
I really enjoyed talking about the social part of hooking up because this part doesn’t necessarily come easy to everyone. If certain people come off in the wrong way the hookup probably won’t happen. This could happen from someone being too straight forward and scaring the potential person away. Another outcome could be that you don’t show your intentions at all leading to yourself entering a state of friend-zone or potentially nothing at all. Lastly this can change depending on what people want and what rules they have established for themselves. If someone doesn’t hook up on the first day knowing someone ever this could lead to a whole new situation that requires more work and effort to achieve whatever goal is intended.
This week the group discussion of ways we communicate for hooking up led to many discoveries for our group. This later developed into many important discoveries for assignment 3. The process of hooking up involves a place to start. Whatever this place is on an app on your phone, or a bar/party we have to communicate in these situations. Furthermore, questions came up about what happens after the hookup. Does getting ghosted or even if people talk about you after it is done. These issues are seen as important but largely don’t cause too many problems for the culture. With this in mind we even noticed that there are this involve using a script as well. People have to talk their way into the situation sometimes and this can be a process and isn’t always successful.
One thing that was really interesting to me is that people get upset by hookup culture.
This was really interesting to me because it shows that not everyone understands the rules of hooking up. Even more so even when people communicate there wants from a situation some people can still get the wrong idea. This can happen when someone says they only want to hookup and one party ends up getting attached for some reason even though they know what is going on. This can send the wrong message and make one party change their mind on everything. This violates the rules of hook up culture which could lead to the ghosting or other negative outcomes. This is why I feel hookups become complicated because not everyone is on the same page or people think the pages have changed without discussing it first.
Although our class definition covers a lot of the aspects of “hookup” culture because of its broadness, I feel as though the definition does not do justice to everyone individually. Everyone has their own definition of “hooking up” and “hookup” culture, so I feel as though our class definition wouldn’t apply to every group or person. Me personally, I can connect to this definition when I think of “hooking up” I think of sexual intercourse of any kind between people who are not together. This definition especially applies to “hookup” culture in my generation because majority of people in my age range use social media to initiate “hooking up.” Apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and Tinder are huge platforms that people communicate to hook up with one another.
Something that resonated with me in this week’s category was that females tend to seek approval from their friends when it comes to pursuing a potential hookup while guys do not. From my experience and from what I’ve seen females will ask their best friends is they should get a guy’s attention to whether it’s to potentially get a relationship or to “hookup.” We will ask if we should pursue a guy based on his looks, how he’s dressed, and if there’s conversation the way he spoke or what he said. Guys, on the other hand, don’t tend to seek approval from their friends. They do what want and want praise or recognition for sleeping with a girl especially if she is very attractive or “hot” to his friends.
Key points my team made about social communicative are that dating apps are a key component of hookup culture. Erin Miller, a life coach, explained that dating apps contribute the normalization of hookup culture taking away the intimacy of face to face dating. I agree with this point because you never really see people go out and meet potential mates or ask people on dates anymore. A lot of dating or hookups occur because of social media and dating apps. Our world is becoming more and more tech based.
In my personal experience, as far as under the group of social/communicative, “ghosting” was usually something that was done to me. When I participated in hookup culture, I was usually the one who wanted more than just sex. My feelings would get in the way because I liked them before even hooking up. At the time I didn’t really think I was participating in hookup culture, but when I look back, hooking up was the only outcome of my interactions with guys I liked. No one ever took me seriously.
Our definition of hookup culture is consensual sex with 2+ people. What we’ve talked about in my group is the plays of social media and drinking have in the hookup culture and specifically on a college campus. I think these are extremely relevant to our definition when looking at any college campus. To me personally I feel that the definition we have created connects with my beliefs on hooking up.
The form that has resonated within myself is the overall use of social media in the hookup culture. Since it is so easy to view someone on social media and get in connection, hooking up has become a lot easier. Many people see snapchat and Instagram great ways to make contact and show interest in someone without the in person communication. This also involves sexting which can speed up a hook up between people. The problem with social media is you have to block someone to “ghost” someone. Ghosting someone is the new term for “hit it and quit it”, and I really don’t see the issue with ghosting. Hookups should be no strings attached.
My group talked a lot about the drinking aspect of college, the article we used was “In Hookups, Alcohol Is College Students’ Best Friend.” I believe the article made some great points on drinking in college like for starters, how much more likely you are to hook up with a stranger when drinking than smoking weed. Alcohol is so prevalent in hookups because of the loss of inhibition this basically means your mind becomes foggy and your sober thoughts become drunk words.
Personally in my life, I believe our definition of hookup culture connects with me. I believe social media and drinking are two extremely big factors in the hookup culture in college. At parties and bars you drink and become more likely to hookup or at least give out your snapchat to someone. Drinking is definitely a part of hookup culture to me because 9 times out of 10 I’m drunk when I hookup with someone.
From our in-class discussions and definition of “hookup” culture, I do not see a direct correlation to the social and communicative aspect of hookup culture. After our in-class discussions, I did feel that our definition should incorporate more of the social aspect of hooking up because there are so many different categories within the social category. For example, the one-night stand at a party vs. a friend with benefits vs. a one-time tinder hookup.
The part from our in-class discussions that resonated with me the most was the topic of dating apps vs. meeting organically. I personally am a big user to dating apps, sometimes I hop on the dating apps when I’m trying to hookup, other times I’ll just go on because I’m bored. Dating apps have given me most of my relationships and hookups just because of how easy it is. When you’re talking to someone on a dating app, the initial awkward shyness goes away and it’s very easy to establish what both of you want. However, meeting someone at the bar, you have to work up the courage to talk to someone, establish that you’re interested without sounding creepy, plan to make a move without making the other person uncomfortable, and finally, if you make it past all of those stages, you have to develop a plan of action of taking that person home/having them take you home. Meeting someone to hook up with at the bar is a very delicate dance that doesn’t always work out and you’ve wasted a big chunk of your time, whereas dating apps are easy and tend to have a higher success rate.
For groups, my team and I found an article that highlights the fact that the ideas of hooking up and hookup culture is very heteronormative. The data on the LGBTQ+’s role is very limited despite this whole group having such a huge role in hookup culture, as a member of the gay community, I can attest to the fact that most people in the gay community are mostly focused on hooking up and that’s one of the toxic traits in the gay community. This article interviews 24 students on a college campus and the study tries to prove that the LGBTQ+ community is able to challenge the heteronormative norm that was set in place by society. For the element’s aspect, we did a lot of work on social media and sent out a survey to our peers. The survey asked which dating apps they used, how often they use them, and their success rate. After the first draft of the survey, we hope to send out another survey to a wider audience because our survey was slightly biased and our class discussions, we thought of more questions to be added to the survey that would give us better long-term data.
I personally have had hookups from dating apps, and from meeting guys at bars/parties. I definitely have a higher success rate on dating apps due to the fact that I’m very intimidating when I’m out at the bars. Multiple guys later on in our relationships have admitted to me that they were afraid to talk to me when they saw me out because I’m seen as intimidating, stuck up, and mean which couldn’t be farther from the truth. On top of that, I’m usually with like 8 girls and I will admit that it’s a very scary sight. On dating apps, guys can message me freely and it gives them more courage and then they start to see my personality and they start to see that I’m not this scary, intimidating, mystical creature that I’m painted out to be. Another flaw with meeting in person is the fact that I’m an extremely hard person to read so it takes guys a couple tries for them to find out that I’m interested, whereas on dating apps they know right away.
Looking back at our definition of hookup culture, I believe it can agree and disagree with the social/communicative category. When we think about dating apps, most of them are only between you and another person, there’s no third person involved. Also, I’d hope all hookups have consent within the short relationship, but that’s not always the case, unfortunately. Lastly, I did discuss this in my first narrative, but I still don’t believe hookups can be an intimate situation. If I develop a relationship with someone, I would only consider sex with them as intimate. But there’s always going to be a debate about how people individually define ‘intimate.’
This was the only question apart of this assignment that I’ve struggled with. When I think about hookups in past generations, online dating and terms like ‘ghosting’ didn’t exist. So, how can we learn from past mistakes if this how society has evolved over the past 10 years or so? We can see the evolution of how Match.com catered to an older audience and then Tinder became catered toward young college students with the intention of just a casual hookup. What I see that’s similar to the past is the opportunities for hookups. Back then it was the party scene on college campuses, especially those involved in Greek life. I still see that today, and as someone that’s involved in Greek life, this is very prevalent. Students go to a party, search for people they may be attracted to, and then go home together if they so choose.
My team and I had a really great discussion when we were preparing for our assignment 3 script, but there was one specific thing that surprised me. The topic of sexting wasn’t something the class had really discussed, especially when we did presentations. I wanted to look into how this was related to the bigger idea of social/communicative topics. I know that there’s plenty of sexting going on in some of the older generations and not just college students, but what I didn’t realize is that this is becoming a more prevalent thing in younger teens. There are kids on Snapchat and texting apps that are being exposed to more sexual conversations. When you see half of the magazine ads on Snapchat, almost all of them are about sex or half-naked women. There’s also the idea that Snapchat instantly goes away, so it’s easy for younger kids to just believe it disappears forever. So I pose the question, do we think hookup culture is existing with the younger generations? Is this something we need to sincerely worry about?
As a college student, I have downloaded Tinder (of course). But there is the association that Tinder is mainly for hookups, which I totally agree with. In my case, I was on there after a bad breakup and wanted to just experience the college life. I ended up meeting a guy that I eventually dated for about 8 months. I never had the intention of getting into a committed relationship, especially since I met him on Tinder. It would be interesting to see how many Tinder hookups evolved into future relationships. Especially since Bogle and Wade discuss how hookups are limited to just seeing that person once, and usually no more than that (2008; 2017). My experience also makes me think about how there’s this idea of reversed steps to a relationship. First, you have sex, then you meet the parents and begin dating. Do we think that this is a new idea? Or did this exist in past generations?
Within the social category, my personal definition of hooking up and “hookup culture” is pretty much the same as our class definition. I believe that hooking up is a social activity in the sense that it is something that takes place between two or more people. I wouldn’t describe masturbation as hooking up because a lot of what makes hooking up hooking up is the social aspect of it. Whether it be the preparation such as the use of dating apps like Tinder or Bumble or the actual action of hooking up, there’s some kind of social component happening.
There are a lot of similarities and differences between each of the subcategories within the social category as well as within different periods of history that have resonated with me. The use of social media for “hookup culture” is something that continues to change every few years. Different social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc. continue to go in and out of style within the same generation. These are all different ways for people to communicate with each other and to find others to connect/possibly hookup with. Facebook has even taken advantage of this with Facebook Dating. Social media and dating apps have started to blend more and more together with elements like this incorporated in. Sexting also gets incorporated into it with the use of apps like Snapchat, which is commonly used for sexting because of the disappearing chat layout. The use of all these different methods of conversation and meeting others without actually having to physically meet them has made our hookup scene different from other generations because of the unlimited availability of partners.
My group didn’t have any external resources for the social/communicative category because we plan on using the opportunity to instead interview and survey those about their experiences within this category since it is such a big component of “hookup culture.” I have been able to learn from others though and from other categories we’ve researched some aspects of the social category. For example, in class we talked about different social activities such as grinding at parties. For a lot of our class members, this was deemed as something that was looked down upon and “gross.” For others, however, this was perfectly acceptable and something that was a staple of the parties they went to. We then brought up that it could possibly be a race/ethnicity difference and that different social activities may or may not happen due to differences between groups of people.
One element of the social category that I really connect with and have experience with is friends with benefits. I was in a friends with benefits relationship for about a year. It was with one of my best guy friends who had no interest in me other than sexually. Eventually, I did fall victim to catching feelings for him. Like mentioned in both Bogle and Wades’ books, I became the stereotypical girl who wanted to turn the hookups into a relationship with the guy. It eventually became evident to the guy that I had feelings with him and out of nowhere, he ghosted me. I think this is where ghosting and hooking up gets intertwined a lot. I think it can be common for someone to want to continue hooking up or to want to continue with a relationship after hooking up and for the other person to not agree and instead ghost the person because it seems like the best way to deal with the situation.
During the first few weeks of class we tried to define what “hookup culture” is, and there were many different opinions on what should be included, highlighting that hookups are different for everyone. Eventually we were able to come to an agreement and defined a hookup as a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment. But this is a blanket definition, everybody has their own personal definition of what a hookup actually is. The fact that the definition of hookups is so fluid can cause a lot of problems. In our (campus) culture the norm is to stick to noncommittal sexual relationships, no feelings. However, not everyone subscribes to that same mindset. So when people meet in a bar, at a party, or on a dating app they assume that the other person is looking for the same thing they are (whether that be a casual hookup or an actual relationship). The norm to not talk about intentions or feelings leads to a lot of mixed messages and hurt feelings. In class we have been working on our video project, and in the section of our video where we give advice to those participating in hookup culture all of us thought it was important to communicate your intentions before the hookup starts. That way if you are expecting a one night stand you won’t be surprised when the other person is still trying to talk to you weeks later- and likewise- if you are expecting a love connection you won’t be ghosted. Everybody in our group thought that communication was a very important step before a hookup.
Recently a friend of mine broke up with her boyfriend of nearly four years. It was her decision, but she was told me how scared she was to be single again. She has never had to do college single, she started dating him right before her freshman year at MSU. She had never downloaded any dating apps or had any chance of going out and hooking up with a guy other than her boyfriend. At a girl’s night, after a few drinks, we convinced her to download a couple dating apps. She is loving it but texts me every so often questions about the “proper etiquette” of dating apps. A couple of the texts includes “When u message someone new on a dating app do u just jump right in and ask them something about themselves or do u say “how are you?” Or something this is so confusing and hilarious lol” and “When you start talking to them do u like have to talk to them every day? lmao.” I have been single most of my college experience, so dating apps are second nature to me. It was so interesting to get the point of view of someone who has been dropped in the middle of hookup culture with absolutely no experience. I have never considered that there is a “proper etiquette” to dating apps, teaching her how to be single has made me realize that hookup culture truly is something that has to be learned.
In weeks 4 and 5 of the semester, we covered the category of social/communicative within the topic of hookup culture. Prior to this focus we came up with a universal definition of hookup culture for the duration of the semester. I don’t think our definition particularly incorporates social communicative because when I think of that category I think of the way people approach hooking up versus what that word actually means. Personally I do believe that the category of social/communicative applied to me because I feel like everyone has an approach and uses social media as a major part of hookup culture. My personal definition of hookup culture would include what we have already created but also include more about the approach people have to hookup cultures or tools people use to aid in that approach.
I think there is a major different throughout history of hookup culture that applies to social/communicative. Especially with the different in the presence of social media in today’s culture, people are less likely to be meeting in face-to-face interactions like might have been done in previous generations. Dating apps and apps that are considered to be used for hookups are extremely popular now as opposed to meeting someone out at a bar or a restaurant. I think this also impacts the speed at which a hookup type relationship might occur. From experience, people are more hesitant to meet up with someone they have met on an app versus someone they have met in person. This is also a strange concept because people now a days are not as willing to meet someone in person, but they also are less enthusiastic about meeting someone they have matched with on an app. My parents met while my mom was working at a hardware store, now a days someone would not be approached in public like that if they were interested in someone. In a way I feel like people are less comfortable with approaching someone face to face because of the presence of social media and the ability to say something without having to see someone’s visual reaction.
Our team’s external sources for this category were two different articles/books. The first book was about parties on college campuses and how this relates to hookup culture. This book talked about how hookup culture within college is focus mainly with frat parties and that frats were the main source of hookups. People go to frats to find someone to hook up with or at least for some sort of sexual relationship with. I don’t agree with this statement, I think that there is a stigma about frat boys and what goes on in a frat house that I don’t think is necessarily true. This book also states, similar to Wade, that people solely go to parties and frats in order to hook up with someone. From experience and logic I would not say that people only are looking for hookups when they go to a party. Some people like to go out just to enjoy time with their friends or have a fun night out. The second source we had was an article about tinder. It was a survey of 170 people asking them if and or why they used tinder. From this survey they claimed that people with a higher socio-sexuality are more likely to engage in the use of tinder and are more likely to hook up with someone off of the app. I feel as if this may be true, some people are just not into the idea of meeting up with someone off of an app but other people are more than open to it.
Personally I have used tinder and have met up with people from Tinder. I don’t have an issue with meeting up with someone as long as I feel comfortable going and people know where I am. I do think that guys have an odd approach when it comes to picking up girls off of social media and dating apps. I find that there are a lot of extremely crude and honestly offensive comments that are not attractive at all. I think that guys think they need to be impressive or say something that they think will make girls want sex more, which in reality I think that it is just too much and will turn me off from wanting to talk to someone.
The term “hookup culture” is very ambiguous. The idea of “hooking up” means something different to everyone. During the last two weeks of class, we’ve discussed the social and communicative aspects of “hookup” culture. To me, this definition doesn’t specifically address the social and communicative aspect of “hookup” culture, but in my opinion, it has the biggest influence on current “hookup” culture, especially on college campuses.
Looking specifically at college students, the social aspect is one of the biggest parts of “hookup” culture. Dating apps have changed “hookup” culture immensely. One external source that my group found when researching this topic includes a map. This map displays the most popular dating apps used in each state within the United States. Of the 2,033 individuals surveyed, only 34% stated they do not use dating apps in the year 2019 (Marvin 2019). This shows how prevalent the use of dating apps is in the current day. Dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble (and many others) allow people to have an opportunity to hook up. Instead of dating apps as an opportunity to “hookup,” Kathleen Bogle claims that college students go to dorms, parties, and bars as an opportunity to “hookup” (2008). I think that both dating apps and these places are very important on college campuses for finding a potential “hookup.”
Another source that we found is an article titled “How Often Do Millennials Start Dating Due to Tinder?” In this article, there is a bar graph titled “Why do you use Tinder?” and is based on a survey of 9,761 current college students from 11/10/2015 to 3/21/2017. The results of this survey show that 22.22% of Tinder users surveyed answered that they are “looking for a hookup,” 4.16% said they are “looking for a relationship,” 44.44% said they use it for “confidence-boosting procrastination,” and 29.16% answered that they use the app for other reasons. From this study, it was determined that 72% of millennial college students have used Tinder (Brown, 2017). I found it interesting that the biggest reason people reported using Tinder for was as a confidence boost or for procrastination. In my experience, all of my friends that I have seen use Tinder had only to find someone to “hookup” with.
The last article that my group found relating to the social and communicative aspects of “hookup” culture on college campuses is called “Hookups in the age of Snapchat” by Jacqui Neber. This article discusses how snapchat has changed hookup culture (Neber 2017). In recent years, most people will ask for your snapchat username, instead of your phone number. This seems a lot less personal, since they can’t get any personal information from you besides your username. Also, the picture or chat sent disappears immediately. This allows people to say things that they normally wouldn’t say, since there is no proof of it once the snapchat disappears after the set number of seconds. By using snapchat to communicate with someone instead of texting, it is easy to keep things casual and meaningless. It is also easy to pursue “hookups” with people, since people are more willing to say or show things they normally wouldn’t through a text where there is proof that they sent it.
In my personal experience, guys who have attempted to pursue me do so through snapchat. Some of them don’t even have my phone number, and don’t know much about me. Although I don’t participate in the “hookup” culture, I have attended fraternity parties, and at these parties I have been asked for my snapchat username (not my phone number) by frat brothers. There is one guy in particular who I met at a frat party, but never hung out with. He has snapchatted me multiple times at night in an attempt to hang out. It is obvious to me that frat brothers use Snapchat as a means to initiating a “hookup” with someone.
These last few weeks, classmates and I have researched and discussed in our teams and as a class the social/communicative aspects that we believe make up “hookup” culture. We identified the categories that the class felt made the most sense, one being social/communicative. The subcategories that makeup social/communicated that was discussed include: social media, dating apps, consent, ghosting, sexting, friends with benefits, disclosure of STDs, drinking/intoxication, substances, and opportunities for ‘hooking’ up. All of these topics relate to how people communicate about hooking up whether it’s before, during or after. I find myself able to connect almost all of these elements within the social/communicative category. As stated that ‘hookups’ are consensual in our definition, I feel that the consensual element is highly important.
A big part that caught my attention when researching social/communicative elements was how dating apps such as tinder have changed how we view ‘hookup’ culture today, which was discussed in the CNN article by Mel Robbins. Based on our definition, we defined that a hookup is sexual and without commitment. As we’ve learned through both class discussion and research females are seeking more commitment and want more form hookups. I believe that if you are considering yourself to be hooking up with someone, you can’t expect it to lead into a relationship. The casualty of hookups is just something that’s been established in the realm of hookup culture. I think that it is sad that it is the norm. I think that if a person wants to hookup and has certain expectations for that it means to them and what they want to get form the hookup it is important to communicate that to the person they’re hooking up with or thinking about hooking up with. This way there will be a mutual understanding between them.
In my research, I found a very interesting article about dating apps in college by Mel Robbins, demonstrating how these dating apps have altered dating in college (2015). It was established in the article that users on dating apps such as Tinder are solely interested in ‘hookups’ or ‘one-night stands’. Dating apps allow for easy access to casual sex and it’s available to the masses. These new apps give user’s validation for having casual sex with a stranger. An interesting statement in the article is: “It’s a contest to see who cares less, and guys win a lot at caring less.” In addition, the article found that dating apps differs from men and women. It’s referred to as a game where men “rack up” as many sexual partners as they can and women try not to lose the person they’re “hooking up” with.
In my personal experience of hooking up in terms of the social and communicative aspect, I have found that I am open to communicating about the topic. I actually enjoy talking about my hookup life with my friends and sharing all of our experiences with each other. Sharing our experiences with each other, we have learned and understand more how other people hookup. I’ve learned in past experiences, that hookups don’t end well if there isn’t clear communication. I like having no strings attached and the casualty of hookups but if I need meet the right person, I could see a potential romantic outcome. I don’t think there is anything wrong about hooking up, I actually think that it is important to talk about it. Talking about hooking up can normalize the topic.
In my personal belief, our class definition of “hookup” culture does not really incorporate the social or communicative aspect of the hookup culture that we have been researching. Based on what research we have already found, hooking up is no longer just a personal thing between two people. Now individuals are looking to their friends for their “stamp of approval” before pursuing a potential hookup. I personally believe that hooking up is still a personal thing between the people involved, and that it is no one else’s business. However, my generation clearly feels different. I know I have been shown messages and profiles between my close friends and people on dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble, as though asking “What do you think, should I do this?” Another aspect that I feel is important to point out is when people go out to the bars or anything like that when pursuing a potential hookup, the individual’s friends play a very vital role. They act as almost “gatekeepers,” in the sense that they need to think you are attractive enough and will gauge you to ensure you are not a crazy person. I just do not feel like our definition incorporates these social and communicative aspects.
As I briefly discussed above, hookup culture is much different than it has been in the past. People tell all of their friends if they are hooking up with people now, and it has lost the “personal secret” aspect in my opinion. Another big way it has changed compared to in the past is dating apps. Apps like Tinder and Bumble are easily accessible ways for people to meet new people to potentially date, but the reality of the apps is that people use this when looking for easy, no strings attached hookups. This was never around until the past few years, and personally I think that it is a wonderful way to show the differing views between generations in regard to hooking up. In one article I discovered, the author goes into detail about how these apps are diminishing the taboo feeling about discussing having sex (Pashankar 2019). Ultimately, I believe that the hookup culture has certainly changed from the perspective that our parents and older generations had regarding it. This is not to say that the hookup culture is new, I’m sure older generations were still indulging in “skinful” lust, but now people are more willing to be open about and discuss the topic with other individuals.
One article that I have found discusses an in-depth study of the hookup culture surrounding Duke University, and it also discusses how apps have influenced people’s mindset in regard to the hookup culture (Pashankar 2019). I believe this is a useful source when looking into how the hookup culture has changed in general due to generational differences. Another source that I find is quite useful when looking into how people at different ages define hookups is a poem one of my group members found. This poem discusses how at a young age, mere kissing may be considered hooking up with an individual, but then ad you grow older this is not the case (Mars 2018). Finally, there is an article that I would like to include that was given to the whole class. It discusses how ghosting has become more accepted, and a more regular way for people to simply cut off the hookup relationship without the “pain” of talking about it (Trout 2019). It discusses merely letting situations fade away to nothing, which in my opinion also speaks a great deal about the generational differences.
My own personal experiences in the hookup culture dealing with the social and communicative groups deal mostly with dating apps. When I was 18 years old, I took them a lot more seriously then I currently do. It was a very easy way to find new people to party with and potentially hookup with. However, I quickly realized that Tinder is a joke in my own personal opinion. I no longer use it seriously, but more so as a means to mess around with people while it is slow at work. I’ll ask ridiculous questions like “Clowns or magicians?” I just find it amusing to see both what people say, and how serious individuals take this app. In my opinion, if I want to meet someone now, I’ll go to the bars or night clubs in the relative area and do “Tinder-in-person.” I still keep my “love life” rather personal, not really discussing details with my roommate or friends due to the fact that I do not think that is anyone who was not involved business. In this way, I do feel different from those close to me because they will indulge every little detail without being asked to. I do not know if this is supposed to be like a “flex,” or what, but I don’t find it classy. Ultimately, I thought this was an interesting couple topics to look into and get to know better in regard to the hookup culture.
In a general sense, I accept our class’s definition of “hookup” culture to be my own as it directly related to my personal perspective of what a hookup is. To broaden that definition, we identified several categories which are made up of elements to accommodate for all the aspects that are incorporated in hookup culture. Over the past two weeks the focus of our discussion has been on the category of social and communicative aspects of hookup culture. This category is made up several elements consisting of social media, dating/hookup apps, ghosting, sexting, friends with benefits, disclosure of possible STDs, drinking and substance use and finally what types of events and situations as viewed as opportunities for hooking up. I feel that our class definition of hookups as well as the relation of the additional context which is included in the social communicative element connects directly to my personal definition of hookup culture.
There were several similarities in our discussions that resonated with me for what I know of the inner workings of hookup culture from an outside perspective. To begin with the places and apps that act as an opportunity for hooking up with people such as the use of tinder and going to frat parties. Based on what I know about my friends who do participate in hookup culture these are the main two ways that people meet and explore the opportunities of hooking up with people in a casual sense with no type of bond or commitment which is formed. Tinder, among other apps, has in a sense made hook up culture what it is today, since it provides people the opportunity to chat each other up specifically about the possibility of having sex and arranging a meeting, allowing for the interaction to occur, then for people to go on with their day. It practically takes away all of the work of establishing a connection with someone and gets straight to the point of delivering what people want, which is to have meaningless sex. Another element which resonated with me was the use of alcohol and other mind-altering substances to work up the courage to participate in hookups. I relate to this in a similar since, because any time that my boyfriend and I need to discuss something sensitive we make it a point to have a beer so that we are more open with one another and because talking about sensitive topics can be hard to do at times. And this correlates to the way people use alcohol and other substances as a method of courage enhancer to do things which they wouldn’t do sober which at time participate in a hookup. Last but not least, I resonate with the element regarding the types of hookup opportunities, such as attending fraternity parties and the bar. A agree with classification of in person interactions that lead to hookups often occurs at parties and bars based on the way my friends express attending such events in search of a hookup. In addition to those examples I believe that each element acts as an important contribution to our social communicative category and our definition of hookup culture.
While researching the aspects of the social and communicative category my group and I identified two critical external resources that provided insight to this category as well as to hookup culture as a whole. The first resource was a book written by Brian Knop which focused on the topic of hookup opportunities at college parties. This book was a valuable resource because it is extremely relatable to college students, which it our target audience of the book. This is because most college students have attended a fraternity party at one point or another during their college experience whether they were in a conscious mindset of looking for a hookup or there weren’t and experienced an interaction with someone who was (Knop, 2011). The second resource we utilized was a scholarly article which concentrated on the use of social media and hookup apps. The article was a collaboration of the results of a qualitative survey based on people’s experiences using apps for the purpose of experiencing a casual hookup and people’s motivations to do so based on several factors. Such factors included people’s sexual digests and socio-sexuality (Sevi et al. 2017). Both of these resources were provided a valuable insight to the elements of hookup opportunities and the use of social medial as part of our social communicative category and its overall role in hookup culture.
Since I don’t participate in hookup culture, my personal experiences regarding this category of hookup culture are limited to the narratives that my friends have told me about their personal experiences, the situations which I have been in, in which people assumed that I was looking for opportunities to hookup since I was in a position in which other people were. I have never used tinder or any other dating or hookup app. But based on what my friends have told me, they use it as a method of finding people who are on the same page as them and looking for an intimate interaction with the need for a commitment or establishment of a connection. But in addition to using tinder to find hookup they also use it as a method of increasing their self-confidence based on how many people “swipe right” on them as an indicator for their attractiveness and people’s willingness to explore the possibility of hooking up with them. My firsthand experiences of the social communicative category of hookup culture are in relation to my membership in my sorority and my attendance at fraternity parties. Since I am in a happily committed relationship my motive for attendance at those parties are to hang out with my girlfriends and have a good time. However not everyone who is in attendance to those parties have the same mindset, and some are using the party as an opportunity to hook up with someone. Because of this the assumption is often made that everyone who is at the party is on the same page and is using the event as an opportunity to find a hookup partner. And as a result of this, I can honestly say that at every party I have ever been to at least one person has invited me home to with the hope of hooking up. This assumption that people often make is a representative of the hookup opportunity element of the social communicative category of hookup culture.
Throughout the past two weeks of class we have been discussing social and communicative factors and how they play a part in “hookup” culture. Some of these factors include apps such as tinder, bumble, and snapchat. Our class definition is influenced by social media as these apps lead to connections which are typically without commitment.
What resonated with me from this week’s topics was the discussion on “hookup apps.” From a class perspective it seemed like a good amount of the class had experience with most of these apps or at least had used them before. I thought that it was interesting that within my group these apps weren’t as popular. Instead they would typically just hookup with “friends” or people they were more familiar with.
My group didn’t have many external sources for the social/communicative group. However, from other groups’ presentation I came away with some key takeaways. One interesting source was a map that showed the logo of the most popular dating app in the state. For Michigan this was match.com. I expected tinder to be the most popular app in the state, so this surprised me.
As for personal experience, I agree that snapchat is a good way to communicate with a potential hookup. The messages as well as pictures go away shortly after being viewed, this leads to less commitment to the person. When it comes to the dating apps I have used Tinder a few times before, however prefer hooking up with a person I know or have met before.
Hookup culture can be defined many different ways. We have talked about the social and communicative aspects of hookup culture for the past couple weeks of class. Our class’s definition was mostly influenced by social media and the effect it has on people hooking up and what is expected with a hookup. Apps like Tinder, Bumble, and many more all shape hookup culture. These apps are known for finding people just hookup with and not have to worry about the emotional aspect of it or having to commit to the person. According to a study by The Atlantic, in 2018 more than 70 percent of all smartphone users worldwide had Tinder on their phone (Fetters “The 5 Years That Changed Dating”). This shows that majority of the population is participated in the online dating world.
The main form of communication throughout the hookup culture is Snapchat. Snapchat gives you an easy way to communicate with people without having the commitment of having to get to know them. In recent years, people will always ask for your snapchat and not your number, asking for your number is seen as being more serious. Snapchats messages also delete after 24 hours or immediately depending on your settings which makes it easier for you to say stuff you normally wouldn’t say or do if the message was out there forever. Snapchat has made sexting a normal thing. YouTuber Hannah Witton says that snapchat is perceived as a “low risk factor” meaning people can send explicit pictures with the condition of no screenshotting or saving. According to match.com, millennials are 290 percent more likely than Gen Xers to use snapchat for sexual reasons. This shows that Snapchat in recent years have definitely aided in hookup culture.
Hookup culture has been created into a game of who can care the least. Every message you send you are worried that they might think poorly of you or ghost you. Ghosting has become a huge thing in recent years due to social media apps. Everyone has been ghosted or ghosted someone before and knows how it feels. You always want to have the upper hand in the relationship. Overall, majority of people have participated or are still in the hookup culture and fuel the stereotypes associated with it.
In two weeks, our whole class has been discussing the social and/or communicative factor and how it plays its part in the “hookup” culture. Before these two weeks, we all came to a conclusion on our definition of the “hookup” culture: a consensual and intimate interaction that is sexual and is between two or more people without any prior or current commitment to each other. In simpler words, it is a pretty casual interaction between 2 or more people in a sexual manner. In terms of the social/ communicative factor, our definition doesn’t really cover that aspect. But, I believe that it is the most important aspect to talk about when it comes to discussing “hookups” and how being social contributes to your experience with it.
Looking at college students specifically, the social aspect is a huge part of “hookup” culture. This is because most college students participate in social activities such as fraternity parties, regular house parties, the bar scene, etc. It is easy for college students to go to any of these social activities and the beginning of the “hookup” stages begin at these places. As for the communicative aspect, I would say it is broader than the social aspect. In class, we talked about different apps that could help more people participate in the “hookup” culture. With the use of these apps, the social scene is not completely included. These apps make “hooking” up a little easier because everyone on the app has intentions surrounding “hooking” up. It is also easier for some because you can meet people over a screen and not at a social scene.
I have been really interested in the social/ communicative aspect of the potential book because I attend a few social scenes and used to participate in the “hookup” culture. When I was a freshman a couple years ago, the most exciting thing about college was joining a sorority and hoping to meet many people in the process. This includes both sorority members as well as fraternity members. My freshman and sophomore year, I mostly attended fraternity parties. These parties obviously had alcohol present and most people were completely under the influence. For most, alcohol makes it easier to interact with people you have never met prior to attending these parties. With flowing conversation with fraternity boys, a lot of my friends including myself participated in the “hookup” culture. This is just how we met new people and would sometimes lead to “hookups”. An article by Rebecca D. Stinson called “They’re just a Good Time and Move On”: Fraternity Men Reflect on Their Hookup Experiences, is an article about three different fraternity members discussing their hookups and romantic relationships. Coming from three different men, their views are similar in some aspects and different in others. For example, one said it is just a one-time thing for them to “hookup” with a girl and that is it. I also think that this is true for some sorority members. But, to other sorority members it is the complete opposite. Most girls are known to become easily attached so the “hookup” culture consists of bad experiences for them.
Over the past two weeks, our class has been discussing the category of social and communicative in the college hookup scene. This topic has made me think about how much technology has changed the hookup scene on today’s college campuses. Our running definition of hooking up is defined as a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment, which I find extremely relevant when discussing this category.
As a group we discussed how going on dates isn’t the norm when getting to know someone. Traditionally you ask someone on a date to find out someone’s interests and become familiar with their personality. Nowadays people will say that there’s no point in a first date since you can find out the basics about someone though their social media. At first I disagreed, but when I went onto my Instagram profile I realized that someone could easily put together the type of person I am.
Another social media platform we talked about was Snapchat. I only have the phone numbers of people I text or call on a consistent basis. Snapchat can keep things less formal, since you don’t save the messages. For example, if I’m “talking” to someone or casually hookup with them on the weekend’s we’d communicate over Snapchat. Drunk Snapchats are much more common than a text or a missed call. It’s also not as embarrassing in the morning since it’s “gone” and it was “just a Snapchat” – leaving no proof of what you said in the message. I’ve never been on a dating app, but my friends have had all different experiences. One of my friend’s went on it to strictly have meaningless hookups, where another friend of mine found a boyfriend. All apps have different stereotypes of their own, but everyone’s situation is completely different.
The idea of ghosting is very common in the hookup scene. I’m extremely guilty of ghosting, especially when I lose interest in guys. I don’t do it to be mean, but the guy eventually gets the hint that I’m no longer interested and will stop messaging me.
I feel like our definition is very close to what my personal definition of “hookup” is. Our class definition only really hits on one of the elements from this category, which is consent. To me, this element is important and I think before any type of sexual interaction there should always be some type of consent given, we just didn’t really talk that much about consent in class discussion. In my opinion, the social/communicative category is probably the biggest part of the “hookup” culture today. The number of apps available for meeting people within your area is crazy, that along with social media really increases people’s opportunities for a potential hookup, if that’s what they’re looking for. Or even how “ghosting” has become almost normalized and expected with these one night stands.
In Wade’s American Hookup, she goes through “steps” and her process of how to “hook up,” I guess (2017). I don’t really think there’s a certain way to go about hooking up or getting someone to hook up with you. Every time can be different. I think you can have a little game plan in your head but I don’t know anyone that has thought “Oh I have to do this and say this before I can do this next part” I just don’t think that’s how it works. As a girl, I obviously don’t know how guys think about this and how they go about finding someone to hook up with, but I would assume they have their “strategy” maybe a little pick up line to get a conversation going or whatever. Wade also stresses the importance of having to be intoxicated to have meaningless sex. I do not agree with this at all. You don’t have to be drunk to hook up with someone and have it not mean anything. I definitely think you can have sober meaningless sex. Of course, this would depend on the type of person you are but overall I wouldn’t consider alcohol or any substance to be necessary in order for a meaningless sexual encounter to occur. So I say alcohol isn’t necessary but it definitely helps. Especially hooking up with someone for the first time, or just the encounter leading up to it, considering they may be somewhat of a stranger, can be nerve wracking. Alcohol definitely gives you that “liquid courage,” whether you’re saying something you wouldn’t normally say or doing something you wouldn’t normally do.
My group didn’t really have that many external sources for the social/communicative group. One of our sources was an article on the most used dating apps by state and there was a map that had every state with the logo for whatever dating app dominated that state in 2019. It was interesting to see that Match.com was considered the most popular in Michigan. My group discussed this briefly, we were expecting Tinder to Dominare, but we realized we probably just think that cause on our campus it’s what we see most of. I feel like tinder is mostly used within our age range, college students, and then when you’re older and you’re interested in something more serious than you would use something like Match.com. I also found it interesting that the article used the word “dating” app, when I think of an app like tinder I wouldn’t really consider it to be an app I would use if I was looking for something more on the serious side.
This category of “hookup” is very easy to relate to being on such a big college campus. Whether you’re involved in the hookup culture yourself or are just watching things go down, you know how the social aspect of it works. I feel like a really big part of the culture has become ghosting. From what I’ve seen or even heard about, when it comes to a “no strings attached” or “friends with benefits” thing, someone usually ends up catching feelings. The other person usually notices this and starts to distance themselves, cut off all communication, deletes you on social media, whatever. You get ghosted. It happens all the time, and it sucks. Sometimes it doesn’t even get that far, one person might just not want to continue their strictly sexual relationship, and instead of trying to end it, they just avoid it. So you just never hear from them again. It’s happened to me, it’s happened to my friends, I feel like we just kind of expect something like that to happen now.
The commitment or lack thereof in “hookup” culture is definitely spot-on pertaining to our research on social/communicative groups as both Wade and Bogle emphasized that guys want to “hit it and quit it.” The part that doesn’t quite go along with Bogles perspective would be the consensual part. Bogle seems to think that hookup culture is the site and birthplace of rape and even replaces the term hookup culture with “rape culture.” The communicative aspect is not really in our class definition but I guess that the lack of communication can be in the “non-committal” category.
Something that really hit me from the readings was that hookup culture is very much in the power of men and that women will try very hard for men’s approval yet men seeking women’s approval was rarely spoken of. So basically I see a flaw in the author’s biased perspectives as they only see women seeking men’s approval and kind of make females seem powerless. Lastly, I believe Bogle mentioned that hookup culture can lead to and facilitate anxiety sometimes (2008). This anxiety probably stems from the constant competition between guys to be always hooking up and seeking other guys’ approval and also from girls always seeking guys’ approval. I basically just took it that people need to stop seeking approval of others! I am also religious and would suggest God as the best source to get approval from as He has the best intentions.
One of my group’s external sources was a book titled “Exploring the hook-up app: Low sexual disgust and high socio-sexuality predict motivation to use Tinder for casual sex.” The book looked to determine the motivation for having casual sex between the occurrence of sensitivity to sexual disgust, and socio-sexuality (the willingness to participate in willingness to engage in sexual activity outside of a committed relationship). We also located a graduate thesis on “Taking Parties Seriously: Gendered Sexuality and Hook Up Culture at Greek Social Events,” which touched on the mindset toward parties and the purpose of them and also Frats as a sort of partying center (Knop 2011).
This week’s topics of social and communicative aspects of hookup culture really resonated with me as a female that is a part of these times and trends. Humans are a very smart species so it makes sense that we would take advantage of our smarts such as the apps created like tinder and snapchat and such, but I do not see them as worth having. As a female that would like a committed partner I know and have experienced the dangers of giving into men with the “hit it, quit it”, mindset and quite frankly it pisses me off. You start getting all worried about “what do they think of me” and “when will we hangout or even talk again,” only to be let down or “ghosted.” It really comes down to being a large waste of time for me as a woman seeking a lifetime companion. The article on tinder defined our age very well by exclaiming that we can basically go “online shopping” for a hookup or date now. The ease also comes with danger as this means that someone can easily hide his/her intent behind a screen!
I think the category of social/communicative from these last two weeks relates quite well to our class definition of “hookup” culture. While our class definition doesn’t specifically say anything about the social aspect of “hookup” culture, it definitely plays a very significant role in hookup culture today. The social and communicative part of hookup culture is something that I feel as college students, we experience this category the most. As Lisa Wade said in her book, one of the most important steps in hooking up is going out to a party or a bar (2017). This “social” side of the hookup culture is what we experience almost every weekend when we head out to house parties, fraternity houses and even the bars. The other part of this week’s category was communicative. Our groups, and as a class, we all talked about the many apps that make hooking up easier and happen more often. With all the apps and social media being so big in today’s culture, it really makes hookup culture seem totally normal and not a taboo anymore.
One of the things that really resonated and stuck with me was the part from Bogel’s book when she talked about fraternity/athletic team membership for men (2008). It was very interesting that to me that being in a fraternity or on a sports team in college was a very valued thing for men in college. When it comes to women and sorority/athletic team membership, this wasn’t a valued thing at all and the most important trait for women was just physical appearance. The reason that this was an important trait for men was because it gives them more opportunities to participate in “hookup” culture. This resonated with me the most because I myself am a part of a fraternity. I never really thought about it this way while being in a fraternity, but I would have to agree with Bogel on her point. While not everyone in Greek life hookups all the time or every weekend, there are most definitely more opportunities to participate in the “hookup” scene of college. It also lets you create a friend group/hookup group that stays around pretty much for all 4 years of college. This group of friends really makes it easier to meet new people, and always have people you know when you are out at a bar or a party.
One external source that I found to be very connected to the social/communicative aspect of hookup culture was a Ted talk called “Stripping Down the Hookup Culture: The Need for Emotional Visibility” by Erin Miller. In the talk, Miller really focuses on the use of Tinder and other “dating” apps. She explains very well how these apps now a day are really taking away all the intimacy from dating. The act of dating now doesn’t even seem to be a thing in our culture anymore. You meet, hookup a few times then either start darting or go your separate ways and don’t really talk to each other anymore. The step of establishing meaninglessness is pretty much done after the first time you hookup with someone, unless there are feelings there. The thing about our generation is we are scared to show our feelings. We don’t want to care about someone who might not have the same feelings for us.
My personal experience with this week’s category is pretty normal to everyone else I would have to say. Being in a fraternity has definitely opened my eyes to the reality and broad scope of hookup culture. Had I not joined Greek life, I’m not sure how it would have changed how I view or participate in hookup culture. I have used apps like tinder and what not but I can’t really say that I used them in a serious manner or to find a real relationship. Like I said before I think that we as college students in this era could be considered “experts” on the social and communicative side of hookup culture.
Throughout the past two weeks, we have been looking at the social communicative aspect of the “hookup” culture. The definition the class gave of a “hookup” coincides with what I believe “hookup” means. In terms of social communicative, the definition is pretty fluid as it means different things depending on the social context. People tend to find people to “hookup” with in very different settings, which is exactly what is expected. Everyone has a different experience with “hooking” up. All of the social platforms has allowed for this type of experience to occur. It opens up a lot of gateways that were maybe harder to get through in pastimes. I think when I think of “hooking up” I relate it a lot to the communicative aspect; a lot of my friends use Tinder.com. Without a social setting it would be almost impossible to find individuals to hook up with. I think being in this time period has made it very possible to find people to hook up with, if that is what you hope to do.
The things that resonated with me were when the class discussed Wade’s statement about how most hookups occurring between hetero whites (2017). I think it is important to discuss why the focus tends to always be on white individuals. It has become obvious that socially growing up we see mostly white people on TV. Also, growing up mostly all of the main cartoons characters were white. I feel that oftentimes the marginalized and minority groups are not focused on. For our society to flourish and grow we need to be inclusive. It is almost impossible to get the best answers if we are not including everyone. Also, I found interesting the discussion of the existence of social construct. I feel that the social construct stems from the past, for instance, some women wanting to receive approval from friends before hooking up with individuals. Throughout the past women have needed approval before doing things, an example would be voting.
The external sources that our group found stemmed mostly from a Tumblr account. The account has quite a few pictures that depict hookup scenarios. One picture even mentions friends with benefits. All of the pictures have long captions as well as external links that have articles. We thought the account was perfect, because it is on a social media account. After, looking at the posts on the account it gave the team a better idea of how society as a whole viewed hookup culture. Sometimes it feels that a lot of things get missed within the classroom setting, because our class is such a small portion of the individuals we are representing. I know it can be hard to make sure all aspects are considered, but I think we should consider ways to expand what is mentioned.
As for personal experience, I can add that the reason I ended up with my current boyfriend was because of texting. We had always been friends in high school, but nothing more. We started texting more about homework we had; later it led to us hanging out and going on dates. I feel that the current social environment allows for people to communicate a lot easier than in previous years. Most of my friends have met most of their significant others through mutual friends, so that is another aspect to social culture. Throughout college is becomes easier to meet new people through friends of friends, most of the time it just takes some communication. It is so much easier to get to know someone if you can talk to them 24/7. I know a lot of my friends Snap Chat to communicate with people they intend to “hookup” with or have already been with.
While our class definition of “hookup” culture doesn’t fully address the social/communicative aspect of hooking up, it is definitely a part of it. There is only one way that hooking up is going to occur and you have to be social. Whether that’s going to a party, using dating apps, or texting someone, these all require some form of communication.
I think that all the discussion of dating apps is very relevant today. These weren’t around when our parents were younger, which is a major difference between the times in hookup culture. I personally do not part take in the use of dating apps. I find that the idea of hooking up with people I’ve never met before to be kind of strange. I like to get to know someone and personally have spent time with them before experience any form of intimacy with a guy. I do have plenty of friends who have apps like Tinder, but never meet up with people on them. I think it maybe is used as an activity to do with free time and it can be a confidence booster by getting attention from different guys or girls.
When doing research for this week’s category, I found a graphic about how college students use dating apps. The majority of students were on Tinder and almost half were just on it for entertainment. I find this statistic to be true because the people who I know that have the app, are mostly on it for that. Nowadays, there are a lot of people meeting their partners through apps, while I would hope to meet my future partner organically, I know this is always an option out there. There’s plenty of options to pick from and who knows it could be better than expected.
I personally am someone who goes out to a lot of social events throughout the week. I love to go out and meet new people, along with seeing friends. I think this is how I relate to the social category. Going to parties is also a great way for friends to introduce you to someone who you may potentially hookup or develop a relationship with. There are so many people out in college going to bars and frats and there is almost always someone you will meet that is nice to be around. It is easy to meet people and even if you don’t hookup the night you meet, you can get their info (Snap Chat or numbers) to begin communication with them. This is was I like to do, get to know someone a little before starting a hookup relationship so that you feel more comfortable and safe when you are with them.
I feel that the class definition that “hookup” culture is a consensual, intimate interaction between 2+ people without commitment relates greatly to the social/communicative category. The elements of “ghosting” and “friends with benefits” go with the “without commitment” aspect, while the idea of consensuality clearly goes with the “consensual” aspect. In our definition, hookups are meant to be without commitment. We decided that “ghosting” and “friends with benefits” are two things that involve a lack of commitment. When “ghosting” someone, you are basically acknowledging the fact that there was no commitment to begin with. When becoming “friends with benefits” with someone, you are basically forming an agreement that the relationship is nothing more than multiple sexual interactions.
The aspect of this week’s category that resonated with me most was drinking/intoxication. While I personally don’t participate in hookup culture, I believe that alcohol plays a big role in my decision to flirt/dance with guys. Alcohol, while not the main reason, adds “fuel to the fire.” By this, I mean that a lot of people are under the influence when hooking up, since it provides an “excuse” for their actions. If someone goes to a party, gets drunk, and hooks up with someone, they may wake up the next day questioning their decision. This regret is usually eased by the thought, “I was drunk; it wasn’t me.” I know I always blame alcohol when I do something that I regret the next day.
My group had many different sources that discussed the social and communicative aspects of hookup culture. We also were able to gain further knowledge from the resources provided by our classmates. Some of my peers used resources that discussed specific dating apps that are predominately used for hookups, others had sources discussing how childhood experiences affect one’s participation in hookup culture. All of the websites, articles, and books I’ve seen have really been informative.
While I don’t participate in hookup culture, I feel that certain aspects of the social/communicative category are really important. I think that consent and the disclosure of STDs are very important. This is also where alcohol and other substances that impair one’s abilities are important to discuss, as well. While many people have sex while drunk, I really don’t think that they are fully able to give consent.
For the topic of groups/communicative, I think our class definition does a good job at relating to it. In our definition we talk about it being an “interaction between two or more people,” when I think of social interactions that is exactly what comes to mind for me.
I think this week really focused on dating apps and how they and we as a society are evolving with them. Dating apps are used for the sole purpose of “hooking up” and many people who participate in the hookup culture have found them useful and enjoy them. Dating apps are a relatively new type of way to find and hookup since smartphones were invented. A way to find a hookup that’s been around for a while that we have talked about in class is parties. If a person decides they want to hook up with someone that night going to a party is probably one of the first ways to accomplish that. In my opinion going to a party, if one wants it, can result in a hookup almost every time. Another topic I found interesting during the discussions in weeks 6 and 7 is ghosting. Many people I know have experienced ghosting in some way, either they were doing the ghosting, or they were getting ghosted. I was curious if ghosting is new among the younger generations or if it has been around for a while. I found an article that discusses how ghosting is now normalized and that with our generation with phones and social media it has become more prevalent in our society. For the purpose of hookups and our class definition, ghosting is technically what should follow if the individuals are only in it for a no commitment hookup.
During these weeks my team found a TedTalk by Emily Nagolski. During the talk she discusses the physiological changes are bodies undergo when we become sexually aroused. She determined we have no control over these functions and many people mistake these processes as consent, but it just is not. Despite what our body does, our bodies do not give consent, it must always be spoken consent.
Personally, I have never used a dating app to hook up with someone, however I have seen many of my friends use them and have both good and bad experiences with them. In my opinion if I was going to look for a hookup I would tend to go to a party because I like to have that interaction is person. I just feel more comfortable meeting them instead of using an online platform.
Looking at our class definition through the social/communicative aspect is that it is consensual and it is between 2 or more people, and I agree with this definition.
Things have changed over time, now people are more open about “hookup” and are more straight-forward about their intensions. I think that people are bolder about communicating to others that they want to hook up. I see this difference in music videos, in black velvet the singer beat around the bush about what she was talking about. Now singers go all out and talk about sex and also where minimal clothes during the video.
My teams sources for this topic is we have a study done by Harvard that talks about how most people meet to “hookup”. It talks about how that most people meet online using dating apps. This is a common thing that happens at MSU. A lot of my friends use apps like this and are usually pretty successful. I personally have never used this way of meeting people. I like to meet people in person before I hook up with them. Another source my team has is we are going to interview one of our roommates to see how they view “hookup” culture and where he finds his partners to “hookup” with. This will give us incite on some that is active in “hookup” culture and how they look at the social/commutative aspect.
In my personal experiences I have found partners to hook up with at parties. Other places people may go to find partners is dorms, bars or online. I like going to parties more than the other places because I like the environment there and I believe it’s easier to “hookup” at a party than at a dorm. I have not tried going on dating apps because I like to have a conversation with them and know a little about them. I think you can get a better feel for someone if you meet in person. Although online can be easier and more effective way in finding a partner for “hookup,” I still chose to find people in person.
So, I touched on the social/communicative aspect of hookup culture in my last reflective narrative, but I think in terms of my personal definition, it’s really important, so I can talk about it again. As a gay male, any kind of hookup I arrange is done through Tinder. I think this is different from straight people because (to me, it seems) straight people more often hook up at parties. I think this makes my experience of the “hookup” culture different in a couple of ways. One of the authors from the readings introduces the idea of the outsider within to describe students who do not participate in “hookup” culture, but are still existing within it, as they are college students and cannot avoid coming in contact with it in some way. In the same way, I think I’m an outsider within, not because I don’t or don’t want to participate in hookup culture, but because the main hookup scene isn’t exactly inclusive for people like me. That’s not to say that all of the straight people participating in hookup culture are necessarily homophobic or are deliberately excluding people in the LGBTQ+ community from their parties, it’s just that these parties don’t offer the same kind of opportunity for gay people that they do for straight people. These parties are mainly composed of straight people, and there aren’t x-ray goggles for gay people to put on and see who at the party is gay and who isn’t. So, these parties aren’t ideal for someone identifying with a sexual orientation other than ‘heterosexual’ to hookup. Thus, the main way to secure casual sex is with dating apps like tinder and grindr. I hesitate to call them ‘dating apps’ instead of ‘hookup apps,’ but let’s be optimistic here, right? Anyways, these kinds of apps are the main way for people in the LGBTQ+ community to ‘hookup.’ Straight people use these apps too, trust me I know, but I believe that these apps are more of an addition to the party hookup scene, as opposed to the main route through which to hookup. I think that these apps change the way we communicate about hooking up.
In the research my group and I have been doing, we found a study that looked at the difference between straight and gay dating apps. Basically, the study found that straight people had more “topically rich” conversations through apps like tinder, whereas gay people, I believe only gay men were studied, had conversations that consist more so of fact checking (Licoppe “Liquidity and Attachment in the Mobile Hookup Culture”). I find this interesting because while I can’t speak to the content of conversations had by straight people on apps like tinder, I can say that this result, although I hate to admit it, is consistent with the experiences I’ve had, predominantly on grinder. I find that there are a lot of what people my age call “catfish” on grinder. If you don’t know what a catfish is, it basically describes a person who poses as someone other than themselves on social media. This term was popularized by the MTV show ‘catfish’ in which hosts Max and Nev would get in contact with people having relationships online and try to arrange for these people to meet their potential ‘catfish.’ The term can also describe someone who looks really good in photos, through the use of angles, lighting, filters, and the like, but looks very different (not as good) in person. In my experience, on grinder, there are more ‘catfish’ that pose as someone completely different from themselves. To me, most people look more or less the same in person as they do in pictures, so I don’t really think of these kinds of people as ‘catfish.’ What I do see a lot of, on grinder, are profiles that are clearly using pictures that aren’t their own. How do I know this? Really, any time someone seems too attractive to be using a hookup app, you’re probably dealing with a catfish. This may or may not differ for straight people, since they mostly use tinder, and even for me I don’t see many super obvious catfish on tinder, but at least on grinder these profiles aren’t hard to find. Unfortunately, one time I actually fell victim to one of these catfish. I was supposed to go “hookup” with this really hot guy, but when I got to the house, the person who opened the door was most definitely not the person from the pictures. I still went through with the hookup. That might sound insane, but honestly, I wanted to avoid the awkwardness of being like “Hey, so…you aren’t the guy I was sent pictures of?” So, I think that kind of made me more aware of the reality of hookup apps and that people often aren’t what they say they are. I wonder how often this happens for straight people on tinder and other dating apps. Perhaps that could be a future research question. I think if there is a difference in the number of catfish straight people encounter on dating apps versus the number encountered by gay people that could explain the finding from aforementioned study.
During this two week period of discussion on the social/communicative elements of hookup culture, we as a classes explored the different ways that a person may communicate that they are interested and willing to partake in a “hookup.” Some of the topics under the social/communicative aspects of hookups include using various dating apps, the elements of ghosting and friends with benefits, and sexting. While these are only a few of the multiple ideas that our class came up with, I thought we were right on track in how these all play a part in hookup culture. All of these subtopics have one thing in common: no commitment. When participating in a hookup, one of the key goals is to make it quick and have no strings attached. Using dating apps already insinuates that you are looking for a temporary fling, so that fits with our definition well. Sexting and ghosting are also associated with brief sexual consensual interactions, which also fits the definition. If done right, friends with benefits (FWB) can also have no commitment, but that may get sticky if one person develops feelings because you are around each other often, considering you are friends.
When people use these various techniques to have a hookup, it often results in a clean sexual interaction that both parties enjoy. However, things don’t always go to plan, which can cause one person to have regrets. For example, if a person joined Tinder to find a partner that they wanted to have a romantic relationship with and date, but they only receive messages that allude to having a quick hookup, they may reevaluate if they want to continue to use that app. A person can learn from that past decision that maybe dating apps such as Tinder aren’t so much for dating, but rather for hookups, and go on to try and find a romantic partner in a different way, whether that be in-person interactions or a different, more serious dating app, like Match.com. I am a firm believe that in order to find what you want and like, it is probably a good idea to have some experiences that you dislike so you can confirm what you are actually trying to achieve, whether that be for dating or any other aspect in life.
Looking back at my groups annotated bibliography, we didn’t have a wide array of sources for this week’s topic of social/communicative. However, during the activity we did in class on Tuesday where people from each group went around to the other groups in class to present their findings made me learn a few new interesting things about the social/communicative aspects of hookup culture. One of the presenters talked this source that said we use social media so much today that we make a judgement about someone’s character based off their pictures they post on Instagram, for example. Whether we realize it or not, these false perceptions contribute to us deciding if we want to engage in a hookup with that person before we know anything about them or meet them in person! I thought that was very interesting because I don’t think people today realize just how much social media affects us until we actually have conversations about it.
My personal experience with the social/communicative aspects of hookup culture has to do with friends with benefits (FWB), and how that can derail real fast. Last summer, my ex and I broke up and decided that we would still be friends. We didn’t talk for the rest of the summer which allowed for both of us to sort of heal, but once school came back around in the fall, we were around each other more often because we are part of the same friend group. Long story short, we started talking again, and ended up hookup up a few times, but we both clarified that it didn’t mean anything and that we were still just friends. However, being the emotional fool that I am, I started to catch feelings again regardless, so the whole FWB thing wasn’t so beneficial because I caught those feelings. The whole point of FWB is to not get attached, which I clearly was having a hard time with. We have stopped hooking up, but I still have those feelings regardless, so to an extent, I do regret hooking up because now it feels like we broke up all over again, but young people make mistakes, and you live and you learn. I just have to keep my head up and push through it all.
Our class definition of hookup does not really address the idea of social/communicative. This I feel is because the social aspect is more the means of a hookup instead of the definition of a hookup. You do not define the means of crime in the definition so why would we with hookup. It would complicate the definition much too far and is more easily discussed than defined.
I think that this week I learned the most when discussing the use of dating apps. Dating apps are continuously coming out and getting increasingly more popular. Dating apps are often equated to “Hookup” apps in the sense that very few people use them for dating anymore. This is how most people find their sexual encounters. It is often discussed throughout class times that parties were the main source of find hookups prior too these apps creations. While people may still find themselves hooking up with people they met at bars and parties, if they are a heavy participant in the hookup culture, they are now likely using these apps.
My team used a Tumbler page as a resource for the category of social and communicative. This page for us, showed a view from someone within the hookup culture itself. Scrolling through the blog you will find that the author covers many topics from friends with benefits to consent to statistics on sex and hookups. This is the source we chose because it shows a different perspective on the social category, as we feel using this social media platform to educate on hookup culture is a way of defining social/communicative in hookup culture.
I personally use dating apps as my way of socializing in the hookup culture. There’s a weird stigma behind them still I feel, so I don’t really talk about it with my friends. The people I meet on the app are usually looking for a friends with benefits type relationship but I have found a few people who are more for a one night thing. The idea of ghosting happens to me semi-frequently and I found that it happen more frequently with those who do not want the friends with benefits thing. Ghosting to me often is people leaving me on delivered or read, but I have had a few people unadd me on snapchat or block me. The worst ghosting experience I had was with a frat guy where I went over, he gave me his snap and sent me one snapchat. He left my snapchat on delivered for 3 days and then blocked me. It was the first time I had been ghosted after the actual hookup as opposed to before I even met them. At the time I was really new into the hookup culture so it was kind of jarring in the sense that everyone I had sex with before was emotionally invested in me as well.
Hookups… How do we define that accurately? For the past two weeks, our Hookup Culture class has been discussing the phenomena of hooking up in regards to the social and communicative aspect of it. Social and communicative elements refer to the ways in which people discuss hooking up. When thinking about this topic in relation to our class definition, I think it is the most genuine form of socializing and communicating what hooking up means to us. This category includes things such as social media and how people use that to seek hookups, what dating apps communicate, what it means to “ghost” someone, sexting as a form of communicating hookups, the idea of consent, being friends with benefits, disclosing possible STD’s, and how substances tie into hooking up. All of these elements relate to how people talk about hooking up, whether they are discussing the hookup after it has occurred, using communication to get a hookup, and communicating during a hookup as well. An important element of being able to communicate sexual activities such as hooking up is to have a usable definition about what it all means. I think our definition is a good reference point for college students in the hookup culture when they are thinking about and communicating it.
A big aspect that caught my attention when researching social/communicative elements was how the concept of ghosting ties in with hookup culture, which was briefly mentioned in Lisa Wade’s book, American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus.. Relating back to our definition, we explicitly say that a hookup has to communicate a lack of commitment, aka ‘no strings attached.’ My personal definition of ghosting is the act of completely cutting off all contact with a person following a hookup without offering any explanation as to why. As we’ve learned through both discussions and research however, ghosting still bothers people, even if they already know and have established that the hookup was meaningless. I believe that if you are considering yourself to be hooking up with someone, you can’t accept them to communicate with you after. That’s just something that has been established in the realm of college hookup culture. In a way, it can be potentially bad that that is the norm. It has been said to decrease self- esteem sometimes, causing the person getting ghosted to think that something is ‘wrong with them’ for example. I think if a person wants to hook-up and has certain expectations for what that means differently than our definition that it is important to say that to the person they’re hooking up with so there is a mutual understanding between them.
Because it was the most interesting element of the category to me, I spent a great deal of time researching ghosting, as I said before. I found a really interesting article about research by Krossa, Bermana, Mischelb, Smith, and Wager demonstrating the effects of social rejection and the impacts it has on people (2011). In a survey conducted on a college campus, 64% thought that being ghosted was their fault, even if nothing had truly sparked the ghosting act from their end. In the human brain, rejection has a very negative effect on someone. Humans have an inborn need to want to feel socially accepted so when that need isn’t met, it naturally makes us unhappy. It can actually even cause physical pain even though that sounds bizarre to say about a hookup. So, the fact of it is that ghosting does in fact have a negative effect on some people even though it is considered a slight social norm in the hookup culture of college campuses.
In my own personal experience of hooking up in terms of the social and communicative aspect, I have found that I am generally open about the topic. I actually find it fun to communicate about my hookup life with my roommates and have them share their experiences as well. It’s honestly a learning resource to understand how other people hookup. When I do hook-up with people, I make it very clear what I expect. I like the no strings attached approach, however if I could see a potential romantic outcome in the end, I might interact differently within that hook-up to communicate that I don’t want to be ghosted and that I want to remain in contact, or maybe just remain hooking up honestly! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with hooking up in general, let alone talking about it. Everyone has the need for intimacy as well as sexual interactions. I think the more we have classes like this and are able to openly discuss such a popular and relevant topic, we can normalize the topic of hooking up.
During this two-week period, we have been discussing the category of Social/Communicative. Within this category we, as a class, established the subcategories to be social media, match.com vs. tinder, ghosting, sexting, consensual, friends with benefits, disclosure of possible STDs, drinking/intoxication, substances, opportunities for “hooking” up. In our class definition of “hookup” culture, one of the subcategories of the social/communicative category is “consensual.” My personal definition aligns with our class definition very well. Especially the part about consensual. I believe that consensual is a very big part of “hookup” culture. Also, the subcategory of match.com vs. tinder is a very big part of “hookup” culture. The dating app, Tinder, is the most popular way to initiate “hooking” up with someone.
One of the major differences between past “hookup” culture and present “hookup” culture is match.com vs. Tinder. In the past, match.com was a big part of “hookup” culture. It was one of the most popular dating apps. Now, almost every college student uses tinder or has used tinder at one point or another. Tinder is the most popular way for college students to find potential “hookup” partners. Another main app that is very involved in “hookup” culture is Snapchat. Snapchat plays a big role is the sexting part of “hookup” culture. Young teens and college students will use Snapchat to sext another person because it is “safer” than over regular text messaging because the snapchat will disappear. Then there will be little to no evidence that it ever happened.
My team found TedTalk about consensual. In the TedTalk, Emily Nagoski talked about how our bodies physiological respond to a sexual interaction. We are not in control of our body’s physiological responses to a sexual interaction. Emily talks about just because our bodies respond to a sexual interaction in a certain way does not mean that we are consenting to anything.
All of my experiences in “hookup” culture have been consensual experiences. I have never used Tinder to hook up with someone. Through my experiences, I have found that social media plays a very big role in “hookup” culture. Most people will use social media to “get to know” someone before actually getting to know them. People do this by seeing what they post, what they like and who they follow.
Our class definition does not clarify the environment “hookup” culture takes place in, or the social/communicative ways which lead a “hookup” to occur. I think that our definition should not include this aspect because there are so many ways, series of events, and atmospheres “hook ups” can occur. Therefore, our class definition connects with my personal definition as it relates to the category, “Social/Communicative.” These elements are clarified within the subcategories of our category “Social/Communicative,” which will be a chapter in our book. From my experience as a college student in the present day, I believe that social media, dating apps and partying atmospheres, which may include drinking and substance use, has the greatest impact on “hook up culture” for my age group. As for social media, someone may begin to “like” someone’s pictures on Instagram as a way of catching the individual’s attention, and then proceed to send them a direct message. This is perceived as flirting and shows that the person who is making the advancements is interested in being something more than strangers or friends. As for dating apps, Tinder and Grindr are very popular for our age range. I am not sure how Grindr works, but on Tinder, one creates a profile with a few of their most flattering pictures, their age and a biography. Then, they select how many miles away they want their potential partner to be within, and the age range they are interested in. After these steps are taken, one begins swiping through potential matches and messaging each other to see whether or not they are interested in one another. Although this is a “dating” app, on Michigan State’s campus it is known as a way to find “hook ups,” not find a potential dating partner. As for partying, this atmosphere can sometimes lead to individuals choosing to use substances. Alcohol is sometimes referred to as “liquid courage,” and the effects of this and other substances on the persons’ brain, may lead them to feel more comfortable with “hooking up.”
Both of the Bogle and Wade readings explain social and communicative aspects of “hookup culture” (2008; 2017). Bogle addressed throughout her book that the most common places to find “hookups” in college are at dorms, parties and bars (2008). From my experience as a current college student, I would completely agree with this statement. Bogle and Wade also express that alcohol consumption is necessary for “hookups” to occur (2008; 2017). Wade believes that alcohol allows for people to obtain “liquid courage,” which makes them more likely to “hookup” than if they were sober (2017). I agree that intoxication may lead to a greater likelihood of “hooking up,” but I do not think you have to be drunk in order to engage in meaningless sex. As for establishing that the sex was in fact, meaningless, Wade describes that after a “hookup,” a reduction in rankings must occur between the two individuals. For example, if the individuals were friends before the “hookup,” they must be at minimum, acquaintances after. If they were already acquaintances, they must become strangers and ignore each other’s existence, which is “ghosting” (2017). On the other hand, the article “Ghosting redefined” by Christopher Trout, due to social media in the current day, “ghosting” is not as simple as the individual disappearing anymore, since they still typically follow the person’s social media accounts and “like” their posts (2019). This is a passive form of communication, but this goes to show that even when “typical” communication is cut off, their presence never really goes away.
My team, the Freaky Five, found one external resource while creating our annotated bibliography relating to the “Social/Communicative” category. This was a map titled, “Mapping State-by-State Tech Trends: Most Popular Dating Apps,” created by Rob Martin in March of 2019. This map shows the most popular dating app in each state. Tinder is ranked as the most popular dating app, followed by Match.com. Out of the 2,033 participants in the survey, 66% of individuals in the study stated that they use dating app, and 34% stated they did not. Therefore, we can conclude that using dating apps is a popular form of communication in our current culture. In regard to the last category we wrote our narrative about, “Groups,” this map also specifies which dating apps are used most frequently by different age groups. 38% of 18-24-year-olds prefer Tinder, and 32% of 25-34 year-olds prefer Plenty of Fish. Those who are 45-65+ years-old typically prefer Match.com.
I downloaded the Tinder app with a few friends once out of curiosity, although none of us want to engage in “hookup culture.” We all created profiles and swiped through hundreds of pictures of men for about an hour. After receiving many messages, most insinuating “hooking up,” I never responded to any of them because I did not want to mislead anyone, and then proceeded to delete the app. As for other social media, predominantly Instagram, after I post a picture, sometimes I will receive messages from guys regarding my appearance or wanting to “hangout.” I cannot help but perceive these messages as advancements to “hook up” due to our current culture in college. Finally, when I go out to a party and a guy asks me if I want to “hangout” after, I feel more inclined to due to the “let loose and have fun” type of atmosphere that parties have, but ultimately say no after reflecting on my morals and values.
From weeks 6 to 7 of the course we discussed hookup culture in relation to social/ communicative. We identified category elements such as social media, Tinder, consensual, friends with benefits, drinking and hookup opportunities. “Hookup” culture was defined as a consensual intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment. I think the definition is great in specifying without commitment which I believe to be a key element of hookup culture. Additionally, I connect with hookups being defined as consensual since I consider hookups to be something fun for everyone involved.
I personally strongly disagree with several points Wade discussed in the NPR interview and my team elaborated on these points in our discussions as well. First, Wade states to establish meaninglessness, a person cannot engage in more than two hookups with the same person (2020). I am curious if this is different between guys and girls? Being a girl, I would prefer my hookups to be with the same people as this does not increase my body count or give me a representation of ‘getting around’. Second, Wade states meaningless is communicated through being drunk, although I highly disagree (2020). Although drinking plays a significant role in the social aspect on college campuses, it is not required to be drunk or even to take it as far to ‘appear to be drunk’. Third, Wade’s comment that hookup culture for women is “not a conversation but more of a “You are going to do now what I want you to do” was extremely bothersome to me (2020). Hooking up is consensual and fun and in no way should one person have more power over the other. What Wade is explaining there in my opinion is rape/sexual assault and should not be combined with hookup culture (2020).
Our team’s external sources include an article on the complexities of sexual consent among college students and a documentary on social media apps. The article explained how intoxication can create controversy over consent. As I mentioned earlier, hookups are defined as consensual so this article did not resonate with me much in regard to the topic of hookup culture and found it more related to the drinking culture. The documentary elaborated how over the past few years young people have adopted many social media platforms which enable connections and affect the ways people date. The director points out that the goal of platforms such as tinder is to get people to use them as much as possible. It mentions the design of the swipe was inspired by a controversial experiment conducted by a behavioral psychologist and from this I see an overlap between the social media element and psychology category.
Personally I have experience with tinder, friends with benefits, and drinking contributing to hookups. When I was single, I was actively on tinder although more per say out of boredom and entertainment. It’s always exciting to match with someone attractive and receive messages. Out of the thousand connections I have only met up with four people off of tinder, and two of which I hooked up with. I think the main reason I felt comfortable meeting up with these guys off tinder was because once we connected on snapchat and Instagram, I discovered mutual friends and then asked my friends what they think about that person. This relates to how females seek approval although in this scenario it was less of approval and more of a confirmation these guys were normal, worth my time to meet up with and I was going to be in a safe situation. Overall from my experiences, tinder and other social media apps offer a great way for people to connect which can lead to hooking up but does not necessarily have to.
I personally have a very similar definition to our class definition. I believe hooking up is having a sexual relationship. Although kissing is a form of hooking up, personally I don’t believe that that ‘counts’ as hooking up. I think our class definition relates very closely to this week’s topic of social and communicative. I personally think that social media and dating apps have allowed for the hooking up culture to be a bit more normalized maybe. It has also allowed for it to not just be about getting drunk and having to go to frat parties or bars, you can match with someone and go straight to their house if you want. It is very easy and convenient to hookup.
I think this week by biggest takeaway was how popular Tinder is and how normalized it has become. When we were going in groups, most groups talked about different articles they talked about and over 90% of them were some sort of article talking about tinder and how popular it is on college campuses.
We had a few articles that talked about data points with tinder. A really interesting quote from one of them is that although when we are young we are taught to not talk to strangers and not meet up with anyone from the internet and all that. With tinder and the concept of it, that is exactly what we are doing. “We are meeting up with virtual stranger on an everyday basis and having sex with them, thinking that that has always been normal”. We also talked about snapchat and the fact that it means less commitment, similar to tinder. You don’t necessarily give out your phone number and giving someone your snapchat, doesn’t mean that you’re going to date them. It usually is just a brief interaction.
I have a tinder that I use fairly regularly. Mainly when I am drunk, or bored in bed, I’ll go through tinder and see what kind of guys are around me and who wants to match and talk. I have been on two tinder hookups and both have been bad experiences just because the guys were both soooooo much weirder in person than they seemed when we talked. I still hooked up with them but definitely wouldn’t do it again with them – haha. Generally, if I want to hook up with someone I will go to frat parties at frats that I know guys at, and that I know something more will probably happen.
The focus category for weeks 6-7 was social and communicative. Through class discussions we have defined a “hookup” as a consensual, intimate interaction that is sexual between 2+ people without commitment. This definition relates to the category of social/ communicative because “hook ups” can occur in various social settings and under different circumstances. I feel this category also relates well with the “hook up” culture on college campuses since lots of interactions and “hook ups” may happen through different social media platforms. For example, many people meet others through dating apps and communicate via these platforms too. With additional class discussions of “hook up” culture I still think the term “hook up” is vague and can be interpreted differently depending on an individual’s personal definition.
Focusing on the category of social/ communicative both the books we have chosen to read by Lisa Wade and Kathleen A. Bogle have items that connect to this category. One item that stood out to me was from Bogle was when she stated, “college students tend to ‘hang out’ socially in groups at dorms, parties, or bars…although the groups at the beginning of the evening may be single-sex, It does not stay that way for long” (29). This shows that people expect “hook ups” to occur in these different environments, even if they weren’t planning on “hooking up.” Another item that stood out to me was in Wade’s Chapter 1, when she describes the different steps involved in a “hook up.” One of the steps includes drinking and being intoxicated, Wade even uses the term “liquid courage” to describe how alcohol can ease an individual’s nerves and allow them to loosen up. I think many people use “liquid courage” to help give themselves confidence and courage to do things they might have feared doing without alcohol. Another aspect of social/ communicative that I feel is common with modern “hook up” culture is ghosting. In the article, Exes Explain Ghosting, the Ultimate Silent Treatment by Valeriya Safronova the author interviews individuals to get their take on the concept of ghosting. The article states, “many of those who have ghosted are contrite, citing their own fear, insecurity and immaturity” these seems to be the common reasons people will ghost others. I do feel people ghost others when they are afraid of hurting someone by telling them how they feel. I think all these items play into modern “hook up” culture.
During our initial research as a team, we found a cool graphic showing the most popular dating apps used in different states. This graphic was very interesting as there were some apps I was not familiar with and apps in areas I would not have expected. For example, in Michigan the most popular app was Match.com and I was surprised to see that. I think I was expecting an app such as Tinder or Bumble because I am familiar with a college campus and those apps are most commonly used. It is important to remember “hook up” culture can occur in all age groups and this could be why some apps are more popular in some states.
From my personal experience, I feel like social media does play a large role in current “hook up” culture. Many of my friends and other peers use dating apps such as Tinder or Bumble to flirt with people and find potential hook up opportunities. Another popular social media platform being used is Snapchat. Often when people meet while out, it seems more common for them to exchange snapchats rather than phone numbers. I feel this aspect makes things less meaningful and can be associated with “hook up” culture since we defined a hook up as something without commitment. Snapchat is also a way for people to easily ghost people they no longer are interested in getting to know.
The past two weeks we have discussed “hookup” culture with a primary focus on the topic of Social and Communicative aspect. I have stated in a previous Reflective Narrative that I personally agree with our definition of “hookup” culture, but within regards to the Social and Communicative aspect of “hookup” culture we fail to mention anything relating to this topic in our definition. I believe our definition could be revised with the thought of the social and communicative aspect being involved in that definition as it is such a huge part of “hookup” culture now.
When we reflect over the history of “hookup” culture it has changed greatly from decade to decade, but it has completely been revolutionized since social media has entered and became such a distinct part of our everyday lives. People are in constant communication today and apps such as Tinder, Grinder, Snapchat, Instagram, and many others have enhanced “hookup” culture and made it spread it rapidly. These apps have allowed people to connect with others that might have never crossed path in life if it would not have been for that app. This easy access to sexual encounters has never occurred before and it has caused “hookup” culture to increase greatly across the United States. One major difference from past “hookup” cultures to now can be seen in this quote from, The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age, stating; “Social media and texting are partially to blame for kids taking “flirty” messages too far and has made it hard for boys to understand consent because people are not learning how to read facial expressions and social cues at young ages.” This idea of not being able to see the other person while communicating can be difficult and may become a bigger problem for future generations as children are having access to social media and phones at much younger ages now.
For the past two weeks my team has discussed a lot of the different aspects involving the Social and Communicative aspect of “hookup” culture. One of the main things we talked about was how social media has raised the amount of communication we have with others greatly compared to past generations. One quote we debated over quite a bit was, “We’re all Ph.D.’s in Internet stalking these days. Online research makes the first date feel unnecessary, because it creates a false sense of intimacy” (Hagelin 2013). We also shared this quote with other groups in our round group discussion on Tuesday. We believe this quote is quite accurate and shows the magnitude social media plays on “hookup” culture and relationships in general.
As a female, white, college student I have found the Social and Communicative aspect of “hookup” culture to be very prominent in today’s culture surrounding this topic. I have personally made my own judgements about people through there Instagram profiles and this plays a big part when it comes to if I were to want to “hookup” with that person in the future or not. I also have noticed that in a lot of cases if someone wants to hit on another person in the hopes of it leading to a hookup they will ask “Can I have your Snapchat?” This would then lead to prior flirtatious contact before the actual hookup. Overall, I think the social and communicative aspect of “hookup” culture is an incredibly important aspect and is very influential in our society today.
I think our class definition of “hookup culture” represents what is meant by a modern hookup. I think our definition suggests that hookups are easy to find and a widely common thing because the technology we have available makes hooking up easy. Social media drives hookup culture. Following other people, seeing their pictures, messaging them, etc. Social media makes people accessible and desirable. Dating apps also drive hookup culture. There are so many different dating apps, some are more serious than others. Tinder and Grindr are mainly used by people looking for a hookup or a one night stand. Hinge and Match.com are typically used by people looking for a more serious relationship, not just a hookup.
Something that I found very interesting during group discussion was that having a good relationship with a caregiver growing up leads to less sexting as an adult, and having a bad relationship with a caregiver growing up leads to more sexting as an adult. This was shared by another group and I think it’s very interesting to think about the psychology behind what makes people want to hookup or engage in that kind of behavior, or not. I thought this fact shared by another group was interesting, because I personally don’t think anything is wrong with consensual sexting, and the fact seems to be putting the blame on people who sext by saying that they might have been neglected in some way. I don’t know much about psychology but this is a topic I’m definitely interested in learning more about.
Our group found a TED talk about consent. The video talks about the concept of arousal non-concordance, which is the lack of predictive relationship between physiological response and subjective experience of pleasure and desire, which basically means that someone could feel a certain way and their body does not reflect that. This TED talk was fascinating to me, because this was a topic I have never heard of, yet it explained so much. Many times, sex-related stimuli is taken as consent, and many times, that is not true. There needs to be a conversation about clear consent. I thought this topic was interesting because it’s something I’ve never thought about. Now I think that it is extra important to get clear, verbal consent and to never make assumptions about what someone wants in response to what their might is showing.
I have never used any hookup apps or ‘friends with benefits’ or anything. But plenty of my friends do. Most of my friends either have Tinder or Bumble or have a ‘friend with benefits.’ It’s honestly kind of fun to watch them get excited when they match with someone or when someone messages them about hanging out, but I don’t think I could ever personally engage in any of that. I like how accessible it all is, but I do think it’s important to be careful and cautious about who you might meet and how well you know them.
The social/communicative category is arguably one of the most important parts of researching and talking about hookup culture. To start wit, Tinder is a popular way to hook up with people today. Almost every single person I know has Tinder, but only 5-6 people from that group actually use it to hookup. Although I would most likely never use it to hookup, my friends that do love it. Usually it’s just a one-night stand and then they never talk after. I get why people sometimes need that itch scratched, but it just seems like a very weird dynamic to me. Just the fact of meeting up with some random guy and having sex with a complete stranger that you met online just makes me nervous.
One thing I enjoyed during class this week was when all of the different groups got an insight to what the other groups are researching. One piece of research that was presented that really stood out was that “Match.com” is one of the most popular dating sites in the country. I know it is directed towards middle aged people and seems like it is more for finding a relationship, but I wonder if some people use it to hook up. I really want to research this aspect and see if middle aged people do pretty much the same thing as young adults do when it comes to hooking up with strangers online.
Another aspect that is very interesting in the social/communicative category is discussing STDs before you are about to hook up. I feel like this is a very necessary part before you have sex with someone. The first time I had sex I did not even ask my boyfriend of his sexual history. I did that after the fact, which really was a stupid decision I made. He said he was clean but STD testing was not a thing for people in his life. (He grew up in a super small town where a lot of people just had sex with each other and no one got tested.) There was one point when we got into a conversation about STDs and he really thought that even if you “just put the tip in” that you could not get an STD. That made me so nervous and made me realize how much sex education needs to be taught better, especially in small towns. Personally, with me and my friends we talk about STDs very comfortably and all my friends that participate in hookup culture regularly get tested. But as I said before, I feel like schools do an AWFUL job at teaching everyone that you should communicate to your sexual partners about STDs and how exactly you can get them. Many people even now don’t know that you can contract STDs from just oral sex. So, in this book we should address the truths and myths about STDs and really just make it an informational chapter about using condoms and being safe during sex. Maybe even adding places you could get tested would be a great idea too.
Ghosting is also a huge part of the social/communicative part of hookup culture. I feel like ghosting is only okay if someone is constantly bugging you and being quite overbearing. Because personally that is a huge turnoff if you are very all up in my Kool-Aid. I do not think that ghosting is okay when you just hooked up with someone and used them to just have sex. I feel like if you want to just have sex and nothing more you should just communicate your feelings to them. One of my friends had sex with this boy and asked him if it was “just a one night thing or if they are going to continue hooking up”. She even said that she was fine with either, but he never answered. I really think that you should at least give them some sort of response and communicate what you want so no one get hurts and things do not get messy.
I view the social/communicative aspect of hookup culture one of the most, if not the most important. What people are taught on social media and through their peers is what shapes the culture as a whole. What students see on Twitter and Instagram and what they see on Tinder and other mediums through which people hookup is that the culture is perpetuated and constantly upheld.
What people are taught and accustomed to shapes how they act. If one is surrounded by people who party a lot and enjoy the hookup culture, they will at some point most likely partake in it as well. Peer pressure and seeing what others do pushes people to act in ways they might not if they weren’t with those certain people. If one downloads tinder and judges swiping decisions based on looks and not a mix of looks and personality, then that will inevitably lead to the perpetuation of hookup culture.
Social media does an excellent (or awful?) job at upholding the status quo when it comes to hookup culture. The sexualizing of women through fashion, rumors, magazines, etc only leads many to sexualize everything they see. The watching of porn for many at a youngish age when the brain can’t possibly comprehend the implications is crucial. For many boys, that shapes how they view women. Many guys I have known therefore value certain physical characteristics that are pretty unimportant. Many women do the same thing however, by also valuing the physical characteristics they see in their favorite actors and models and such. These unfair standards not only leave a lot of people out, but also contribute to the physical attractiveness prioritization. This prioritizes being into someone for how they look not who they are, which will mean shorter interactions, usually physical. That is the typical hookup situation that many college students face today. This can be not unhealthy if people understand the situation and don’t place too many expectations. Viewing hookups as gross or dumb is naive. They can serve as not just emotional support, but they can also alleviate stress. Often times however, it becomes a situation where one person has certain expectations while the other does not. This leads to stupid games being played, perpetuated by social cues and other people, to manipulate and push those people away. That hurts many people and leads to increased depression and other mental health issues. What some people do is not representative of everyone, but unfortunately, as in most places, those are the loudest most visible people. One does not hear or see much about people who do not partake as they are not out and about. Those who are often the ones the most visible and the most rowdy. This leads to false views of society, and unhealthy expectations
Social/Communicative is what impacts young people the most in my opinion. The combination of a variety of factors that then lead to social pressures and stressful situations is what keeps the hookup culture alive and well. This will not change any time soon. Too many people need that culture to keep their sanity and to maintain their perceived social standing. I do not advocate for the end of the culture, but to a better understanding of it, and for people to understand they can do what they want or who they want, but they should not feel any pressure to and if they don’t or do not want to, they should not feel left out.