If you’ve turned on a television in the past two years and watched a show geared at teenagers, you have probably noticed that there is a focus on “hooking up” with and the dreams of romance have been lost. Sadly, this is even more present in “real life” than in the world created by the media.
Shira Tarrant (2010, March 24) deals with the issue in her blog post, “Getting Down About Hooking Up.” Specifically, Tarrant questions whether or not the “hook up culture” is damaging to women. She also explains that others researching this topic have found that males and females say that “the sex is often unpleasant and meaningful connection is elusive” in a “hook-up” situation.
Clearly people who are engaging in a “hook-up” aren’t focused on all aspects of an interpersonal relationships—passion, commitment, and intimacy. The question is whether or not any of the dimensions are being fulfilled. Some may argue that passion may be present—in that we may desire the person physically and thus are fulfilling that aspect of an interpersonal relationship. Yet, if people are admitting that sex is often unpleasant—what is the goal of the “hook-up’? Is it a result of our instant gratification culture where we feel a need to have a connection and thus look for the first available opportunity to have a physical encounter with someone?
As individuals researching interpersonal communication, it is important to think about how this culture of “hooking up” is influencing how people approach interpersonal relationships and romance. Is the need for relationships diminishing as we find gratification in one-night stand?