Hookup culture needs reform

COMMENTARY BY
KAREN MENNELLA

The infamous hookup culture is tainting our generation’s sense of love.
We crave connections with other people, but we turn to the wrong places to satisfy that need. Modern dating is now defined as a myriad of one-night stands and basement party hookups.
Hooking up is extremely prevalent on college campuses across the nation, and I am sure that if you have not experienced it, one of your friends has.
According to research from the American Psychological Association, “The most recent data suggest that between 60 percent and 80 percent of North American college students have had some sort of hook-up experience.”
Sarah Mueller’s article last week about the “Scranton Makeout” Twitter page addressed the nature of hooking up on campus. Mueller showed us that people are choosing to publicize these hookups through photos plastered on social media. Hooking up can be degrading enough, and now people actively seek to humiliate each other with it. I am disgusted by this tragic truth as both a student and a victim.
We have no regard for each other anymore. We enter these sexual interactions and capture these “Kodak moments” just to gain pleasure and attention. While we temporarily get what we want, we wake up feeling ashamed, cruel, used and even heartbroken.
We do this because we fear what it is to actually be loved for who we really are. Many of us have failed in previous relationships, so we have given up hope for future ones. We think that everyone is going to leave us feeling hurt, so we choose hooking up because we know in the end that it is doomed. We set ourselves up for the disappointment we are accustomed to receiving.
I believe we all deserve more than we are putting up with right now. Mueller reminded us that we are supposed to be men and women for others, and we must remember to follow through on that promise.
“We accept the love we think we deserve,” author Stephen Chbosky wrote in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”
We may be sexual creatures, but our relationships need to be rooted in more than just physical attraction. We need to change our ways and start treating each other like humans.
I know a lot of us will still go out and hook up, but we should actually try to get to know each other instead of using each other like mere booty calls. Give each other a chance and embrace the feelings that flood your hearts and minds.
If we do not transform the rapidly expanding hookup culture, we will destroy the precious gift of giving and receiving love.
There will never be a universal constitution for relationships; however, we need to start a generational reform of our dating culture.
Allow me to start:
We, the people of the Millennial Generation, in order to form a more healthy lifestyle, establish respect, insure internal peace, provide for the country’s future, promote the universal happiness and secure the blessings of love to ourselves and each other, do proclaim and establish that this is the beginning of a new era…
It is up to us to move toward the genuine relationships and affection we all really want. The choices you make now will ultimately affect the future of our generation, so I challenge you to take a risk and embrace the real, passionate and meaningful love that is waiting for you beyond a stranger’s dark dorm room on a Saturday night.

Contact the writer:
karen.mennella@scranton.edu

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