Now that any online dating experience will eventually escalate to mobile messaging (whether What’s App, iMessage, or How About We’s app), it’s not enough to have mastered the English language. We live in an emoji world now. Originally added to iOS for Japanese teenagers, the diverse set of smileys is now used by people of all ages around the world. Emojis can function as avoidance, word substitution, or whimsy. But just as you choose your words carefully, you wouldn’t want to fling the octopus symbol around with abandon. Your latest Tinder match might assume you’ve got a fetish.
In his New York Times column, Nick Bilton recounted his friend’s emoji mishap, in which the woman involved would type flirtatious messages via emoji (the flamenco dancer, a martini) and her male counterpart responded with the thumbs-up icon. While the guy thought he was responding positively, the girl assumed she was being prodded into the friend zone. Some emojis are ambiguous, and they should be used with awareness of the situation. Our brief guide: Keep reading »
For a long time, eyebrow-arching and pearl-clutching over “hookup culture” has focused on young women: they will feel used by young men and come to believe they can only derive value in themselves from their sexuality. Such concerns have been roundly and fairly criticizing as portraying young women as victims lacking in agency, or worse, in need of a paternalistic watchful eye.
There has been less of a focus on how hookup culture affects young men. According to a piece by the usually-spot-on journalist Abigail Pesta, writing for NBCnews.com, there is “an increasing confusion among boys about how to behave” and experts say “boys who engage in this kind of sexualized behavior say they have no intention to be hostile or demeaning — precisely the opposite. While they admit they are pushing limits, they also think they are simply courting.”
Oh dear. Keep reading »