Gen Z’s Aversion To Phones Has Created A Toxic AF Dating Trend

Gen Z’s Aversion To Phones Has Created A Toxic AF Dating Trend iStock/ViewApart

I know I’m going to make myself sound old as hell, but when I was younger, if you wanted to talk to someone, you had to pick up the phone and call them. Texting wasn’t a thing; the closest we had was a pager… which was literally just a way to tell someone to call you. The advent of smartphones has certainly made communication more seamless, at least in theory. However, it’s also eroded actual communication to near nonexistent, and Gen Z is leading the way with their complete aversion to using phones how they were originally intended. Their refusal to actually use their voice and speak to someone on the phone has created a toxic dating trend that’s making the scene worse than it already was.

While face-to-face conversations will always beat ones that happen via technology, I feel like most people (well, millennials and older) would agree that talking on the phone is second in line. You can hear the other person’s tone of voice, which leaves far less room for misunderstandings. However, Gen Z has only ever really used their phones to surf social media and text, and have a deep-seated hatred and sometimes even fear of actually holding the thing to their ear and speaking out loud.

As a result, much of the communication they have with other people, specifically people they’re dating, has gone down the drain. In fact, research by the Australian tech firm More found that 90% of Gen Z experience severe anxiety about talking on the phone. Most even claim that awkward phone calls are in the top three worst things they’d want to avoid in life.

Gen Z will avoid using their phones to actually speak on at all costs

While admittedly, calling someone to break up with them over the phone is in bad form, Gen Z is taking it one step further and avoiding the awkwardness altogether by simply texting their desire to end things.

More’s study found that 20% of Gen Zs have broken up with someone via text. The worst part is, they don’t see it as problematic at all and instead believe that people would generally prefer to be dumped via a DM rather than told on the phone or to their faces that it’s over.

Admittedly, texting someone that you’re not feeling things if you’ve only ever been out once or twice is fine. However, many younger people think it’s okay to do this when they’ve been seeing someone for several months or even a year. It seems that they prioritize personal comfort over courtesy, respect, and compassion for the person they’re getting rid of, and that’s kind of depressing.

It can be hard to know how to end a relationship with someone when you feel it’s run its course. It’s going to be painful, ridiculously awkward, and potential even mortifying. However, unless telling someone directly that you’re not interested in them, whether to their face or, if it’s impossible to get together in person, via an actual telephone call, is going to put you in personal danger, there really is no excuse for biting the bullet and being a decent person. Advice for Gen Z: The dating scene might not suck as much if you did.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill