Sadly, a few little girls never grow up to understand the threats of love at first sight via Facebook, Skype etc. We know these girls, and sometimes even boys, as the “online romantics.”
We don’t notice the normal high school students who are “online romantics” because their actions are so out-of-character for our age group. Teens generally associate online dating sites with antisocial adults.
One student, Kaley Kennedy, sophomore, shared her six-month experience participating in an online relationship when she was 14. Kennedy explained that she met the 16-year-old Maryland boy via “Skyping” him with a mutual friend.
They stayed in touch through Facebook, Skype and talking on the phone. Skype was the reason she said she trusted that he wasn’t some kind of 35-year-old creepy man because she could actually see him.
The reason Kennedy gives for substituting a “tangible relationship” for an online one was simply because she was not attracted to anyone in Raleigh and didn’t see the point of waiting. Though they had planned to meet over the summer, due to an unforeseen family event, she and the boy were never able to see each other.
Kennedy was criticized by friends who told her to “find someone here” and teased her for never actually meeting him. Her family knew of the relationship but luckily never mentioned anything about it. “[My parents] probably liked it because he was so far away,” she giggled.
The relationship ended after six months. She says, “This was the first and last time; I would never do it again and I don’t recommend it. Now I think, ‘why was I doing it? What a waste of time.’”
Many other students who have never participated in the act were happy to share their opinion of online dating for high school students. All three of those who were interviewed had very similar remarks and were consistent with Kennedy’s regrets.
Branson Brockschmidt, senior, said, “It’s weird for high schoolers; they should learn to be social.” He explained that students who participate in online dating probably have no social skills and are threatened by the almost definite possibility of a predator being on the other end of the screen.
Agreeing to the “weirdness” of the matter, Brendan Lough, junior, said, “It’s better to meet face-to-face; it makes a better connection.” Seeming to be more accepting of students who do online date, he also commented, “I guess it’s a way of getting through that first awkward greeting and is an easier way of meeting.”
Another student, Cody Pyper, senior, was perplexed by the thought of online dating for students. He said, “It’s confusing and weird; I don’t see the reason why anyone would do it. I mean, does it really happen?”
When asked if they would ever succumb to online dating, Brockschmidt said he is “not that desperate,” and similarly, Lough and Piper stated they would “never resort” to such methods.
Just like the boys, Madi McNair, sophomore, agreed that online dating is “weird.” She stated, “You have no idea who this person is or what they truly look like. You can’t trust them and that’s what a relationship is based off, trust.” As a friend of Kennedy, McNair believes it wasn’t Kennedy’s “best decision”.
Overall, it seems the students of Leesville Road High School agree that the act of their fellow students online dating is indeed “weird.” They have expressed feelings of threats of danger and criticism and others simply confounded towards those who do participate in the activity. Still, despite their opinions, it is inevitable that the unconventional method of dating will proceed; reasons behind it, though, are to stay only with those who are “online romantics.”