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Talking About Talking

A young woman struggles to articulate what she really wants—a traditional relationship.

In this photo illustration the mobile dating app Tinder logo

I came across an interesting clip on Twitter today that I thought worth sharing. Some are having a laugh at the girl featured in the video. I, on the other hand, pity her.

The clip seems to be from a podcast setting, as the young woman. She appears college aged or just beyond, sits across from a man, featured very briefly in the clip who looks in his late twenties or early thirties. Here’s the clip:


I stumbled across the clip because some mutual followers liked the post from an anonymous twitter account with the handle @NeoBactrian. The caption says, “an insane amount of americans [sic], of all races, under the age of ~50 can barely speak english [sic]as a first and only language  - forget about at a level comparable to a person who completed a secondary level education 60+ years ago.”

He’s certainly correct. Her comments are full of filler words, incorrect grammar, with some expletives tossed in. “I think like the biggest thing that like annoys me in like the whole dating world is like f*****g talking stages,” the young woman says. Surely, her lack of command over the English language is a product of our nation’s failing education system, but it’s not just the education system that has failed her.

The process of education is the beginning and end of the cycle of cultural development. It is tasked with reflecting and instilling society’s cultural values to our youth. Our current culture values autonomy, diversity, and equity more than competency. Our culture is rotten, and thus, our process of education is as well.

Her lack of command over the English language, therefore, is culturally induced, but it’s more than just a failure in rhetoric. The entire clip, she’s fumbling over her words, grasping for a very simple phrase: “traditional dating.” She’s caught struggling for words because our current culture has done its best to make the concept of traditional dating taboo or verboten, if not kill it entirely. Hence, the need for the added modifier “traditional” to dating—I’ve been assured by those my senior that back in their day, they just called it dating, maybe even “going steady.”

“I just hate the whole, like, how talking stages are so, like, normalized, like, traditional dating does not exist in this generation,” she says. The heartbreaking reality to all of this is that she’s mostly right. For my generation, traditional dating is, for the most part, basically nonexistent.

Maybe it’s impossible to ever fully kill a concept. It is possible, however, to make an experience or reality so rare that the concept loses all familiarity. In a similar way, my younger siblings don’t really know what a VHS is. They know that you put them into a device, and it allowed you to watch a movie on the T.V. But they’ll never have the full experience of excitedly waiting for the VHS to rewind so you can watch your favorite movie again, or the glorious experience of visiting the local Blockbuster. This girl’s understanding of traditional dating is but a shell of the richness and beauty that the old way of dating provides.

Even still, she clearly longs for it. Her disenchantment with our culture’s current method of courtship—the rampant use of dating apps, desire for instant sexual gratification, and lack of commitment—is clear. She just can’t find the words, because the forces of liberal modernity have done their best to hide them from her.


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